Travis Kelce talks about plan after retirement

Alongside the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense seeing a dip in production this season, tight end Travis Kelce has started to show his age a bit. With the superstar pass-catcher gaining more and more popularity outside of football and having turned 34 in October, it’s only been natural for fans and both local and national media to wonder how long he’ll keep playing.

 


Kelce’s own words are being factored into the equation, too.

In an April 2023 interview with Bleacher Report, Kelce’s tone was optimistic. He said his body felt good and he hadn’t “put much thought into” retirement. By the time the regular season was rolling along, however, things seemed to change.

In a November interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kelce admitted that he thinks about it “more than anyone could ever imagine.” So… what’s the verdict?

 

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Kelce finally set the record straight.

“Do you guys think about retirement?” Kelce asked. “Am I the only one in this boat, or is anybody else in this thing? Whoever’s not thinking about stuff down the road, I blame you.

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

 

He then doubled down on his stance, indicating that he hadn’t decided on a post-football path to take with his career. In fact, he hinted at placing that on the back burner for the time being since it doesn’t pertain to his current focus.

 

President Joe Biden greets Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Head Coach Andy Reid and players Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, June 5, 2023, prior to an event celebrating the team’s Superbowl LVII championship. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

“That’s the point of the offseason,” Kelce said. “Being able to get out there and really find what you love to do. I’ve been fortunate to do a few things outside of the sports world that I’ve been enjoying doing, like getting on camera. The SNL stuff kind of opened up a new happiness and maybe a new career path for me. But it’s funny for me to even say that at this point in my career because I think it’s so much further down the road than it is right now.”

 

It’s been a trying season for Kelce for several reasons. Professionally, he had to miss Week 1 with a bone bruise and hyperextended knee. He then proceeded to sprain his ankle in Week 5 and has dealt with various minor ailments all year long. That, combined with a lack of elite talent elsewhere on offense, limited him to just 984 receiving yards in 15 games.

He opted out of Week 18’s finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, a game that almost surely would’ve seen him extend his historic 1,000-yard season streak. Despite the statistical decline, though, Kelce finished the year with top-three tight end marks in receptions, yards, 20-plus-yard catches and fantasy points.

 

Personally, Kelce’s relationship with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift took the pop culture world by storm. In addition to being one of the best players in the NFL, his stardom has leaped to an entirely different level in the fall and winter months. The 11-year veteran has not only had to adjust to a new set of circumstances with the Chiefs, but his non-football life is a whirlwind.

 

It’s been a trying season for Kelce for several reasons. Professionally, he had to miss Week 1 with a bone bruise and hyperextended knee. He then proceeded to sprain his ankle in Week 5 and has dealt with various minor ailments all year long.

That, combined with a lack of elite talent elsewhere on offense, limited him to just 984 receiving yards in 15 games. He opted out of Week 18’s finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, a game that almost surely would’ve seen him extend his historic 1,000-yard season streak. Despite the statistical decline, though, Kelce finished the year with top-three tight end marks in receptions, yards, 20-plus-yard catches and fantasy points.

 

Personally, Kelce’s relationship with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift took the pop culture world by storm. In addition to being one of the best players in the NFL, his stardom has leaped to an entirely different level in the fall and winter months. The 11-year veteran has not only had to adjust to a new set of circumstances with the Chiefs, but his non-football life is a whirlwind.

 

As things stand, Kelce is under contract for the 2024 and 2025 campaigns. That would make him 36 at the end of the final year of his deal. It remains to be seen whether a restructure or extension is in the cards, but this year has seen many take to social media to question if Kelce would even return for next season. He seems to be putting that to rest, confirming his commitment to riding until the wheels fall off.

Despite needing to patch up a tire or two along the way, Kelce is still going mostly strong. He isn’t willing to say this season is the most challenging one he’s faced, instead just choosing to appreciate it for what it’s been.

 

Man, I would have to go down the list year-by-year, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of this year,” Kelce said. “Obviously not the same success, but it’s a different journey. You’ve just got to appreciate every journey as they come along.”