Watch: Travis Kelce Responds to Rumors About His Retirement - 'Opportunities Outside of Football for Me'


Good news, Kansas City Chiefs haters: You’ll have future Hall of Famer and Taylor Swift breakup song subject Travis Kelce to kick around for at least a little bit longer.

In an appearance at the Chiefs’ minicamp on Tuesday, the 34-year-old Kelce — now the highest-paid tight end in the NFL — told reporters that he plans to keep playing “until the wheels fall off.”

“Hopefully, that doesn’t happen anytime soon,” he said. “But I can definitely understand that it’s [closer] towards the end of the road than it is the beginning of it, and I just gotta make sure I’m set up for after football, as well.

“Wear and tear me, baby. I’m ready for it, man.”

With the three-time Super Bowl champion approaching 35 and now becoming a major cultural figure off the field thanks to his relationship with the most famous musician in the world at present, there had been whispers about how long Swift’s other half would keep taking to the gridiron every given Sunday.

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While his production slowed during the regular season in 2023, he still managed 93 receptions for 984 yards. Perhaps most importantly, the Chiefs’ workhorse turned it on in the postseason, taking in 32 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns in four games.

Kelce’s best performance arguably came in the AFC championship game, where he led all receivers with 116 yards on 11 catches and a touchdown as Kansas City beat the favored Baltimore Ravens 17-10.

He also was the top receiver in Super Bowl LVIII, where the Chiefs again beat a favored team — this time the San Francisco 49ers — 25-22, with Kelce racking up 93 yards on nine receptions.

Do you like Travis Kelce?

However, he has had a busy off-season, arguably having replaced Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs’ most famous player. And, although he didn’t get half of America, including Chelsea Handler, to go on social media rampages because he espoused traditional biblical values as Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker did, he did go viral for slamming a brewski when he received his degree from the University of Cincinnati:

Even Rodney Dangerfield took going back to school more seriously. But I digress.

The point is that now that he’s not just one of the sport’s top receivers but a cultural crossover figure, maybe he would consider leaving the game and try to make money without the risk of tearing his ACL.

To Kelce’s credit, however, he says he’s staying put for as long as he can. And he has every reason to; in addition to those three Super Bowl rings, he has four first-team All-Pro selections and nine Pro Bowl appearances.

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“I really can’t put a timeframe on [retirement],” he said. “I love coming to work every single day.

“Obviously, I know there’s opportunities outside of football for me. And I think you gotta keep in perspective that, you know, I’m still a little kid when I come into this building, man. I know I’m 34 years old, about to be 35, but I have a love to do this right here, in the middle of the heat in June. You know, I love coming to work every single day and doing this.”

Those of you who regularly read my ramblings on sports — all three of you — know that I’m not the biggest Chiefs fan, Butker’s ability to irk the left aside. However, my disdain for them doesn’t come because they’re a bunch of arrogant weasels or dirty players.

Rather, I dislike the Chiefs for the same reason I disliked Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls: They’re so good that they keep teams I want to win from winning.

As someone who roots for the Cincinnati Bengals as my secondary team as soon as the New York Giants get eliminated from contention — which is usually quickly — I know that the Chiefs are lurking somewhere around the corner, likely to spoil any joy I might derive from my backup team.

So, yes, Kelce will still be playing until those wheels fall off — as will the Taylor Swift drama, his shilling for the Pfizer vaccine and other outrages of that sort.

On the other hand, though, I doubt I’m the only person grudgingly happy that one of the game’s greats that we love to hate will continue being around, raising our ire. Yay.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture