Jason Kelce retires: How Eagles legend stacks up amongst the greatest centers in NFL history


PHILADELPHIA — Jason Kelce, who retired Monday after 13 NFL seasons — all with the Philadelphia Eagles — is going to be remembered as one of the greatest centers in NFL history. The only center to earn six First-Team All-Pro honors and win a Super Bowl title, Kelce solidified his Hall of Fame status when he earned his final All-Pro selection in his final season, separating him from many of the all-time greats at his position. 

Kelce earned all six of his First Team All-Pro selections in his 30s, the most ever by any player in his 30s (Jerry Rice and Bruce Smith are second with five). He went out at the top of his game, earning three First Team All-Pro honors in his final three seasons. Kelce and Dwight Stephenson are the only two players in the Super Bowl era to earn three consecutive First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections in each of their final three seasons. 

While it’s hard to measure Kelce’s greatness with the other legendary centers in NFL history, ProFootballReference.com’s Approximate Value (AV) is one measuring tool. Approximate Value is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year (since 1960), but it’s also greater based on number of games and seasons played. 

Mike Webster has the most seasons of a 15+ approximate value (four), but Jim Otto has the most seasons with 10+ approximate value (12). The statistic is difficult to measure, but Kelce is classified amongst the all-time greats at center. He also has the second-highest approximate value for any center who’s played fewer than 200 games. 

How does Kelce stack up against the great centers? This isn’t a definitive ranking, more of a list compiled by a way to compare eras using Approximate Value. 

Jim Otto (163 AV)

Arguably the greatest center in NFL history, Otto earned 10 First Team All-Pro selections and 12 Pro Bowl selections in his 15-year career with the…

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Author : Jeff Kerr

Publish date : 2024-03-04 23:17:17

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