Travis Kelce Tearfully Pays Tribute to Brother Jason After Retirement: 'You've Always Been a Step Ahead'

The brothers both broke down in tears on Wednesday's episode of their 'New Heights' podcast.

Travis Kelce was overwhelmed with emotion while processing Jason Kelce's retirement. The siblings addressed the big news on Wednesday's edition of their New Heights podcast, with tears shed on both sides. 

"We couldn't be more proud of you, man," Travis began as he recapped Jason's heartfelt speech. The 36-year-old legendary Philadelphia Eagles center officially confirmed that he has retired from the NFL after 13 seasons in a touching announcement on Monday that paid tribute to the many people who have influenced his journey. 

The siblings recorded their podcast together in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, less than 24 hours later. 

"We did not talk much of your retirement," Travis revealed of their private conversations in recent months, following a tough ending to the Eagles season in January. "I wanted to make sure that you didn't feel any pressure from me to keep going, knowing that I wanted you to keep going. I wanted you to keep playing this game." 

Jason joked, "Why didn't you tell me this? I would have changed my mind." 

"No, no, no," Travis replied. "You've always been a step ahead of me." 

Jason shrugged off the remark, saying simply, "I'm older, Trav." 

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The 34-year-old Kansas City Chiefs tight end assured his brother that he looks up to him in more ways than just age. 

"Yeah, but in this game alone, you've always been a step ahead of me and it's always been like I've had that flotation device right there," he explained, becoming choked up. 

"To have you out of it, man, it feels empty," Travis continued through tears. "It feels like, it's um, it's complete. It was a success." 

The waterworks prompted Jason to also begin breaking down. 

"It was a fun ass journey to watch," Travis managed to add. After a pause, he continued, "Like I said yesterday, man, I just appreciate you showing me the way and bringing us all along the journey with ya, big guy."

Jason remarked that they "showed each other the way" and reflected on what the upcoming season will look like for him. 

"I'm all done playing, but I'm still gonna be, I'm still going to the games," he shared. "Like I said, you know, you've been playing for a long time on your own and I look forward to being able to appreciate and watch your games more, and take in the bigger picture of football and everything that it has to offer while still remaining local in Philadelphia. I'll never not be there." 

While Jason collected himself, Travis continued through his tears. 

"It was cool being the tag team of the National Football League, man. Pretty cool s**t, man," he said.

"I didn't talk to you about it and I kinda let you do your own thing, and I couldn't have been more proud listening to you yesterday," he went on. "It's been a lot of emotions. A lot of sad emotions, a lot of exciting emotions. I mean, you got the world in your f**king palm right now, dude, and you got three little ones I know you're dying to watch grow up. It's a lot of exciting future things that we have to look forward to." 

Travis spent a few days in Philadelphia to not only offer his support for Jason, but also to celebrate his niece, Elliotte's, third birthday. The middle child of Jason and Kylie Kelce turned three on March 4, just two weeks after their youngest daughter, Bennett, turned one

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At one point in the conversation, Travis paused to ask for a tissue. Jason apologized, explaining that he would be crying more but he'd "wasted" all his tears already. Travis quipped, "You know I got plenty of those." 

Elsewhere in the podcast, Jason spoke out about how he decided it was time to hang up his pads for good after considering retirement for the last several years. 

"It's been a long time coming," he admitted. "It felt good to finally get it out there in some ways, and in other ways it hurts." 

Jason explained, "It was more firm than it's ever been this year that I just don't think physically I can compete at the level that I want to anymore, and to really compete the way I want to."

The athlete said that the deterioration and recovery of his elbow and his knees won't allow him to continue playing at his peak. 

"I'm hard on myself and if I go out there and I'm not the player that I want to be, it will crush me," he shared. "So I feel very confident in the decision I've made. I know that it's time. I've had a really good run, but that's the biggest reason why." 

He also opened up about the many tears shed on the podium. 

"It's weird, it's not like it's easy or hard to say it, it's more just like hard to come to grips with the finality of it," he said. "I was hoping I had said it enough times that I wouldn't cry as much as I did. I think it's good to show emotion through it, but I couldn't, I mean, I was sobbing before I even started." 

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Some of Jason's most heartfelt remarks during Monday's press conference came while discussing his relationship and professional rivalry with Travis.

"I won't forget falling short to the Chiefs," he said at the time, pausing to wipe tears from his face and admitting, "This is where it's going to go off the rails."

After collecting himself, he continued to recall "the immense heartbreak" of losing Super Bowl LVII to Travis and his team, juxtaposed with "the amount of pride I had that my brother had climbed the mountain top once again."  

"It was really my brother and I our whole lives," Jason continued. "We did almost everything together -- competed, fought, laughed, cried, and learned from each other. We invented games, imagined ourselves as star players of that time. ... We won countless Super Bowls in our minds before ever leaving the house."

He added, "There is no chance I'd be here without the bond Travis and I share. It made me stronger, tougher, smarter. It taught me the values of cooperation, loyalty, patience and understanding. It's only too poetic I found my career being fulfilled in the City of Brotherly Love. I knew that relationship all too well."

For more on Jason's iconic career and retirement, check out the links below.