Jason Kelce called the first week of March “one for the record books” and then proceeded to let everyone know that he restructured his contract. The All-Pro center — and the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles — will be out there snapping the ball to Jalen Hurts in 2021.
Kelce, who has flirted with retirement in recent years, wasn’t quite ready to walk away from the game he loves, not after last year’s 4-11-1 train wreck. He told the team’s website that he wanted “to leave the Eagles knowing that I left it in good hands” and reworked his multi-year deal to function as a one-year contract.
Kelce made the announcement on Instagram, then granted an interview to the team’s website where he talked about wanting to mentor the younger guys and get to know the new coaching staff. This will be the fourth coaching staff he’s worked with since Andy Reid drafted him in 2011.
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“I’m really fired up to be able to come back and play for the Eagles again,” Kelce told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. “I’ve always said I’m playing until I’m not and I still have a very strong desire to play the game of football. I still want to do it.
“I still want to be around the guys. I want to be around the building, around the coaches. I still enjoy that aspect of it and I’m not ready to stop doing it yet. I’m excited with a lot of the energy going around right now and, also, I didn’t want to end my career on a season like we had last year. It wouldn’t feel right.”
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Darius Slay Restructures Eagles Contract
Kelce wasn’t the only one helping ease Philly’s salary-cap burden. Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay has agreed to restructure his contract to create $9.14 million in cap room, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The 30-year-old signed a three-year $50 million contract extension last year with $30 million in guarantees.
“What I love about this team is you can see that everybody is themself,” Slay said after signing in Philly last year. “There’s no shell, where you can’t do this or can’t do that, it’s basically like you’re being treated like grown men. I like the aspect of that. The grown men treatment and the ability to be yourself and not be something you’re not, you can do that here.”
And Lane Johnson, Too
Add starting right tackle Lane Johnson to the restructured contract list, too. The 30-year-old was set to account for $17.8 million against the cap next season, the third-highest number behind Fletcher Cox ($23.8 million) and Brandon Graham ($17.9 million). The Eagles are projected to be $33.8 million over the salary cap.
According to Derrick Gunn, Johnson will work to lower it and give the Eagles more cap relief. Johnson did the same thing last year when the team needed extra loot to hand Jason Peters a pay bump. The three-time Pro Bowler is entering his ninth NFL season after going fourth overall to Philadelphia in the 2013 NFL draft.
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