After 10 seasons in the NFL, one Super Bowl win under his belt, and a long list of records, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce could easily call it a career after Super Bowl 57 having established himself as one of the best tight ends ever to play the game. But just because he could retire, doesn’t mean he should. Plus, the question of whether or not Kelce should hang it up would depend on the game’s outcome too.
This season, Kelce became only the fifth tight end to reach 10,000 receiving yards. He also set the positional record for most consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, seven. In 2020, he set the record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end, with 1,416 in just 15 games. He’s also got a Super Bowl ring, but sometimes, one just isn’t enough.
Kelce could be just the 17th tight end to win at least two Super Bowls. Something that would only further pad his Hall of Fame resume.
At 33, Kelce is already on the upper end of the age spectrum for tight ends. However, he was still the league’s leading tight end this season. He lead the field by a mile with 1,338 receiving yards—no other tight end topped 1,000 yards this year—and that was the second-highest total of his career. He also led all tight ends with 12 touchdowns and 110 receptions.
While his age might push some to think that Kelce should retire sooner rather than later, it’s worth noting that being in your mid-thirties doesn’t mean the end for tight ends. Tony Gonzalez, another legend among Chiefs tight ends, played through his age 37 seasons, putting up solid stats right through til the end, including an All-Pro and Pro Bowl nod at age 36. Antonio Gates played through age 38, and though he wasn’t as productive as Gonzalez in his twilight years, he still managed to post solid numbers.
It’s still too soon to think about Kelce retiring. He’s still productive, and the Chiefs have him under contract through 2025. Perhaps more importantly, he’s got the chance to play a few more seasons with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a connection that’s only going to add to his already impressive resume and, more importantly, give him a realistic shot for another trip or two to the Super Bowl.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.