Nick Sirianni Acknowledges Loss of ‘One of the Best Players in NFL History’ with Jason Kelce’s Retirement

The Philadelphia Eagles have the task of replacing an all-time NFL great this offseason following Jason Kelce‘s retirement, admits head coach Nick Sirianni.

Kelce, 36, chose to bring the curtain down on his storied football career earlier this month after his 13th season in Philadelphia ended with a Wild Card round defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He departs as one of the most important figures in Eagles history, having played an integral role in the team’s first and only Super Bowl win back in 2018, while also helping them make it to football’s grand showpiece once again five years later.

While announcing his decision, an emotional Kelce burst into tears during a teary farewell speech in Philadelphia, where members of his family and Sirianni watched on.

And as he begins drawing up his plans, the Eagles coach believes they have to replace one of the greatest players in NFL history at center next season.

‘Obviously we are losing one of the best players in not only Eagles history but NFL history,’ Sirianni said at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting on Tuesday.

‘One of the best centers of all time, so obviously there’s gonna be things that we gotta work to replace with that.

‘But what’s great is these guys have been around Jason for three, four, five, six, seven years, and so we’ll see who that is [replacing him] at center, we’ll see who that is at right guard.

‘But I know we’ve got a lot of good pieces. We’ve got Landon [Dickerson], Lane [Johnson], two guys that are Pro-Bowlers and have been for the last couple of years now, Lane’s been for a long time.

‘Jordan Mailata’s played a lot of good football, Cam Jurgens got a lot of good minutes last year – and we’ll see how the rest of it plays out.’

Sirianni was also asked about the possibility of Tyler Steen, drafted by the Eagles in the third round of last year’s NFL Draft, being an option to come into the offensive line with Kelce no longer around.

‘Steen has a lot of different qualities to be,’ he said. ‘He’s versatile, and I think he can do a lot of different things. So when you get guys that are versatile, there’s flexibility there with what you can do with them, what piece goes where.

‘But we’re excited about him. Obviously I feel and how everyone feels that Coach [Jeff Stoutland] is gonna get the best out of these guys, and Tyler’s gonna benefit from that coaching.

‘Tyler’s also gonna be benefit because he’s a really good player that we took in the third round. Excited about his development, some of the minutes that he got last year.

‘I think that he is a great option and we’ll see what happens.’

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