As each day goes by, the uncertainty mounts toward Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson, who didn’t participate in mandatory minicamps and will be entering his 12th season at the age of 33 in 2022.
USA Today’s Chuck Harris, who writes on the Cardinals, reported that the 32-year-old center is mulling retirement. There have been suggested signings and even trades for the Cardinals to make if Hudson were to retire.
Most recently, Walter Mitchell of SB Nation’s Revenge of the Birds wrote a possible trade scenario. He laid out a trade proposal in which Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce gets sent to the Cardinals for a third-round pick, and possibly former Cardinals and current Eagles cornerback Tay Gowan.
Mitchell named tight end Zach Ertz, Kelce’s former Eagles teammate, as someone who could lure the All-Pro center to the desert.
However, if Zach Ertz is able to convince Jason Kelce to play with him in Arizona or the next 2-3 years, then the Cardinals could consider offering the Eagles one of their two 3rd round picks in 2023, if, perhaps, the Eagles would also be willing to add CB Tay Gowan to the package,
If Kelce is able to assure the Cardinals that he is interested in playing 2-3 more years, then the Cardinals could offer him what they were intending to pay Rodney Hudson, plus some added incentives.
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Kelce’s Future Remains Unclear
When Kelce met with reporters on May 5, it didn’t seem like the 34-year-old was committed to extending his NFL career. He has one year left on his contract and has been working with second-round pick center Cam Jurgens, who could be Kelce’s successor.
Kelce was also a part of the process for the team to select Jurgens.
“I’ve been trying to mentor my replacement for I think eight years now,” Kelce said. “You always want to try and help young guys and help the team be better moving forward, and I’m smart enough to realize my time is limited. I’d like to be part of something that, you know the only way to live on in this game is through the players and relationships that you forged as a player.
What does remain clear is Kelce’s love for the Eagles.
If Kelce were to retire after the 2022 season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kelce pursuing a front office or scouting gig with the Eagles.
“There’s one thing I’ve spent my whole life doing and it’s football,” Kelce said. “So I’ve built up a lot of experience and expertise in this game, and in particular offensive line play and a lot of that has been molded by Jeff Stoutland and then the different offensive line coaches I’ve had throughout my career. I don’t know [about becoming a scout]. I could definitely see myself enjoying doing that but who knows when it’s done what’s next.”
Kelce’s Off-the-Chart Resume
Kelce has a Super Bowl ring and five Pro Bowls under his resume. His 84.4 PFF grade in 2021 was third-best in the NFL as his game has shown very little deterioration.
Kelce’s career started in Philadelphia and spans to the Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson tenures and now Nick Sirianni. He’s anchored quarterback Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts and two different forms of Nick Foles. Kelce hasn’t missed a game since 2014 and is a four-time First-team All-Pro.
The former sixth-round pick has truly seen it all.
It would be hard to not only see the Eagles trade a player of Kelce’s caliber, but also a leader of Kelce’s caliber.