Chiefs News: Travis Kelce Gives Definitive Answer on Retirement

Travis Kelce

Getty Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023.

When the Kansas City Chiefs announced that tight end Travis Kelce wouldn’t play in the regular season finale, rumors sparked he might be ready to retire.

Kelce was 16 yards away from notching his eighth consecutive season with over 1,000 yards. Many assumed it was Chiefs head coach Andy Reid who made the final decision for him to rest. Not wanting to risk the superstar getting injured ahead of the playoffs was understandable. However, Reid later revealed that sitting out was Kelce’s decision.

Learning the typically ultra-competitive star was fine letting his historic streak come to an end left some fans worried that the 34-year-old was preparing to hang up his cleats. The two-time Super Bowl champ is already expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer the first year he’s eligible.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, January 11, however, Kelce put that narrative to bed. He only thinks about retirement when asked about it.

“I have no reason to stop playing football. Man, I love it,” Kelce said. “We still have success. Come in with the right mindset. I just love the challenge that it gives me every day to try and be at my best. Like I said, I have no desire to stop anytime soon.”

As for what he’d do if he retired, “That’s the point of the offseason,” Kelce replied. “Being able to get out there and find what you really love to do. I’ve been fortunate to do a few things outside of the sports world that I enjoy doing. Like getting on camera, the ‘SNL’ stuff kinda opened up kind of opened a new happiness and a new career path for me.

“It’s funny for me to even said that at this point in my career, because it’s so much further down the road than it is right now.”

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Tried to ‘Force’ Travis Kelce to Play in Week 18

Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce

GettyChiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023.

The Chiefs had nothing riding on their final regular season game against the Los Angeles Chargers last week. With the No. 3 seed locked in with a win or a loss, Andy Reid chose to rest several key starters, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

However, as Reid mentioned, the entire team wanted to see Kelce extend his streak. Mahomes told 610 Sports Radio on January 9 that they even designed a game plan for Kelce to enter the game with minimal risk. But Kelce didn’t feel right risking an injury for a personal stat.

“That speaks to the type of teammate that he is,” Mahomes said. “In all honesty, I was trying to force him to play… I was trying to force him all the way up until game time and then he said ‘No, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to play for those reasons, I want to get myself healthy and ready for the playoffs.’

Just in case Kelce changed his mind, the Chiefs were ready. “We got some plays that we could get him open where he could stay away from contact and kind of get him into spots where he can catch the ball and get down and everything like that,” Mahomes said. ”

But that’s just the type of guy he is, man. He’s not going to go out there and play for those reasons, he wanted those guys to go out there with the mission of winning the football game, which they did.”

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Also Addressed Retirement Rumors

Andy Reid

GettyChiefs head coach Andy Reid at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023.

Kelce wasn’t the only person asked about the end of his career ahead of the Chiefs’ Wild Card round against the Miami Dolphins. Earlier in the week, rumors sparked that Reid might be ready to retire after the season concluded.

During Thursday’s press conference, Reid, who turns 66 in March, was asked if he’s mulling over possible retirement.

“I haven’t even thought about that,” Reid said. “I’m thinking about one thing. I figured that would come up when you guys were asking these questions, because I’m old. But not that old.”

The one thing on Reid’s mind? Squishing the fish. The Chiefs host the Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, January 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET