Jason Kelce: There’s Nowhere Else I’d Rather Be

Jason KelceEagles center Jason Kelce made it clear Thursday in signing a seven-year contract that keeps him in Philadelphia through the year 2020 that he values being a part of the team’s culture. 

Jason Kelce admits that he wears sweatpants and t-shirts every day, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the 26-year old didn’t think twice about inking a seven-year contract extension with the Eagles Thursday.

Kelce, who has played in just 34 games for the team thus far in his career, will now anchor the Eagles offensive line through the 2020 season and be paid handsomely to do so, to the tune of $37.5 million, with $13 million guaranteed which places him squarely amongst the top five starting centers in the NFL.

It was obviously an easy decision for Kelce to put his name on the dotted line at the Novacare Complex as he goes from being among the lowest paid centers in football to near the top, but he still elected to forgo and opportunity to hit the open market for the first time until he turns 32-years old.

That doesn’t seem to bother the University of Cincinnati product.

“The longer the deal, the better for me,” Kelce told reporters Thursday. “I really have no interest in playing anywhere else.”

Kelce won the team’s Ed Bloch courage award after rebounding from a knee injury early in the 2012 campaign and playing every game in 2013 in the league’s second highest rated offense.

“Jason is the epitome of the type of player we want around here, both on and off the field,” head coach Chip Kelly said in a statement. “He’s tough, extremely intelligent and is a leader by his actions and by his words. His athleticism is something that really sticks out when you watch him play. There aren’t many centers that can get down the field like he does.”

Kelce has stepped up and become a stalwart leader in the Eagles locker room in recent years. Don’t expect a paycheck with significantly more zeroes to change that.

“Even though I’m getting paid more money now, that won’t change my approach,” he explained. “It won’t change one bit. Hopefully that rubs off on the other guys as well.”

The Eagles have made taking care of their own a top priority in the week leading up to free agency as along with Kelce the team has already locked up impending free agent Riley Cooper as well as keeping Jason Peters in the fold through 2018 and making progress towards signing Jeremy Maclin and Donnie Jones to deals that would prevent them from hitting the open market on March 11th.

Currently, the Eagles have odds of +145 to make the playoffs, reflecting a promising outlook for the team. Fans looking to place wagers on the Eagles can find the best odds and promotions on the best US sportsbooks.

By the way, Kelce’s first big purchase?

Paying off the debt of his parent’s house in Cleveland.

You may be able to take the offensive lineman out of the sweatpants-though probably not-but you can’t take the sweatpants out of the offensive lineman.

Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.
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