Tonight’s wild-card game marks another opportunity for the Chiefs to continue building their track record of success established during the Patrick Mahomes era. Tight end Travis Kelce has of course been a major part of the team’s Super Bowl runs, but questions have been raised about how much longer his decorated career will last.
The 34-year-old sat out Kansas City’s regular season finale, leaving him just shy of another 1,000-yard campaign. Kelce eclipsed that benchmark every year from 2016-22, picking up at least a Pro Bowl nod in each campaign along the way. He has also been named first-team All-Pro four times in his career, one which includes a pair of championships. When speaking in advance of the team’s latest postseason beginning, though, he made it clear he intends to continue for the foreseeable future.
“I have no reason to stop playing football, man,” Kelce said, via Nick Wagner of the Kansas City Star (video link). “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.”
Kelce has two years remaining on his contract, and he is due $30.25MM over that span. As he acknowledged this summer, he is aware his compensation is lacking relative to many other high-profile pass catchers. However, he is in line to remain a focal point of the team’s offense for the time being with cap hits of roughly $15.5MM and $19.8MM over the next two years. Barring a significant injury, he will no doubt remain a welcomed member of the Chiefs given his sustained high level of productivity.
The former third-rounder currently ranks 38th on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list, and fourth amongst active players. Kelce sits at 11,328 yards, putting him just shy of Antonio Gates for the third-most by a tight end. If he holds true to his intention of carrying on his career, he will continue to climb the leaderboards while providing Mahomes a consistent option in the passing game as Kanas City looks to add further silverware in the years to come.