Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) celebrates after winning Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce pleads with Chris Jones to end holdout

Travis Kelce admits he doesn’t fully understand defensive tackle Chris Jones’ decision to engage in a holdout. Kelce just wants his teammate back with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

“Chris, can you please come back?” the star tight end said on his New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce podcast. “You’re really scaring me, man. I don’t get it. You must know something that I don’t know because I just don’t get it. I really want to get another Super Bowl ring with you, brother. This is me bargaining you to just come back and play football for the Chiefs. Please, we need you. We need you bad, and I don’t know what the situation is.

“He’s just the best defensive player in the league right now. He’s deserving of all the money in the world. Chris, I love you. Please come back now.”

A four-time Pro Bowl selection and a 2022 first-team All-Pro, Jones has one season remaining on the four-year, $80 million contract he signed with the Chiefs in 2020. He’s scheduled to make a base salary of $19.5 million this season.

Jones, 29, recently threatened over social media to extend his holdout to as far as Week 8 if negotiations don’t improve. He currently is on the reserve/did not report list.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday he doesn’t take issue with Jones’ decision to stay away from the team.

“Chris has chosen to go this route,” Reid said. “Some other guys have chosen to get their deals done and come in and play. I’m not here to criticize one way or the other. We’ve had a lot of success with the guys that we have and we go with it.

“Other than that, I take the distractions and throw them out the door and let’s get on with what’s real.”

What’s real is the Chiefs open the season against the visiting Detroit Lions on Thursday.

Jones finished third in Defensive Player of the Year balloting last season after matching his career best of 15.5 sacks. The two-time Super Bowl champion has 65 sacks in 107 games (86 starts) over seven NFL seasons with the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce greets fans during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Underpaid Travis Kelce: ‘I love winning’

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce is not getting paid like an all-world tight end, but the two Super Bowl rings more than make up for being the 52nd highest-paid player in the NFL this season.

“I love winning,” the 33-year-old told Vanity Fair in an interview published Wednesday.

But it’s not like he’s unaware of one huge metric among NFL players — the checking account.

“My managers and agents love to tell me how underpaid I am,” Kelce said.

The four-time All-Pro is set to make a base salary of $11.25 million this season. His average annual salary of $14.31 million is third among NFL tight ends.

And while former teammate Tyreek Hill left the Chiefs last year to sign a four-year, $120 million extension with the Miami Dolphins, Kelce earned a second Super Bowl ring in February.

“When I saw Tyreek go and get 30 (million) a year, in the back of my head, I was like, ‘Man, that’s two to three times what I’m making right now,’” he told Vanity Fair. “I’m like, ‘The free market looks like fun until you go somewhere, and you don’t win.’ I love winning. I love the situation I’m in.”

But with 10,344 receiving yards and 69 career TDs under his belt, in addition to leading the Chiefs in receptions (110) and yards (1,338) last season, one has to wonder.

“You see how much more money you could be making and, yeah, it hits you in the gut a little bit. It makes you think you’re being taken advantage of,” Kelce said. “I don’t know if I really pressed the gas if I would get what I’m quote-unquote worth. But I know I enjoy coming to that building every single day.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (right) and tight end Travis Kelce celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Kelce to Ja’Marr Chase: Don’t disrespect Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce came to the defense of Patrick Mahomes after he felt his quarterback was disrespected by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

Kelce said he understood Chase taking up for his own quarterback Joe Burrow when asked to name the best player in the NFL. Kelce, however, took issue with the wideout’s “Pat who?” comment this week on his “New Heights” podcast that he co-hosts with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce.

“I thought it was a little bold,” Travis Kelce said. “(Mahomes) is a two-time league MVP, two-time Super Bowl MVP. To say ‘Pat who?’ is like I don’t know.”

“(A) little disrespectful,” Jason Kelce said.

“It is what it is, dog. Who doesn’t love some good locker room banter, man?” Travis Kelce said. “Shoutout to Ja’Marr Chase for holding it down for his QB, but don’t you ever disrespect Pat Mahomes, now. If you wanna talk your (expletive), talk your (expletive), pimp. Just better back it up.”

Mahomes took to social media recently to tweet a picture of himself wearing two Super Bowl rings at the Chiefs’ ring ceremony on June 15. He answered Chase’s “question” in his own way: “That’s who.”

Burrow, 26, was an NFL MVP finalist last season after throwing for a franchise-record 35 touchdowns. Chase, 23, caught 87 passes for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns.

Mahomes, 27, led the NFL in passing yards (5,250) and touchdowns (41) last season. He also got the better of Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game before leading the Chiefs to a 38-35 win over the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; The Super Bowl LVII logo on the field during Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs enjoy private ceremony to receive bejeweled rings

The Kansas City Chiefs officially have the ring bling befitting their second Super Bowl title in four years.

In a private ceremony Thursday night in Kansas City, players, coaches and staff gathered to receive their diamond- and ruby-bedecked Super Bowl LVII rings for beating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 on Feb. 12.

Not your everyday ring rundown: 609 round diamonds, 16 baguette diamonds, four marquise diamonds and 35 custom-cut genuine rubies with an approximate weight of 16.10 total carats, per the Chiefs’ website.

After the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers in February 2020, there was no private ring ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic that year.

Star tight end Travis Kelce said Thursday night’s event “feels right,” even as a “last hurrah” before the team looks ahead to 2023.

“I think everybody in this building is kind of ready to go after 2023 here and put this one in the past,” Kelce said. “But it’s going to be cool seeing these rings and reminisce for one more time.”

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt called the private ceremony a chance to have a huge party to “properly celebrate our Super Bowl victory.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) talks with his brother Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) after Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce takes aim at brother, Patrick Mahomes on ‘SNL’

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had a little fun at the expense of his brother as well as teammate Patrick Mahomes during his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.”

The charismatic Kelce began his hosting gig by referencing his team’s 38-35 victory over older brother Jason Kelce’s Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.

“If you don’t know, I just won my second Super Bowl, which was amazing. But to me, hosting SNL is that much better baby,” Travis Kelce said before quickly reversing his field. “I’m lying to you all. I’m kidding. Winning the Super Bowl was way better.”

Travis Kelce, 33, then took aim at his quarterback — well, more to the point — Mahomes’ raspy voice.

He then focused on his brother Jason, who was seated in the front row alongside their parents, Ed and Donna.

“You know, people keep asking me what it was like to beat my brother in the Super Bowl, and it was pretty awkward,” Travis said. “Especially because after the game, we had to ride home together. Our mom drove us there in her minivan, just like the good old days.

“Even though his team lost after being up 10 points at half, my brother is actually really happy for me.”

The camera quickly cut to Jason Kelce, whose face told a different tale.

The Kelce brothers participated in a skit alongside “Saturday Night Live” regulars Chloe Fineman and Heidi Gardner. Travis Kelce volunteered a reference to his suspension from the University of Cincinnati in which the then-sophomore was disciplined for failing a drug test in 2010.

“So it just goes to show you, if you smoke weed and are bad at school, you can win the Super Bowl twice,” he said.

Travis Kelce is a four-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection in a 10-season career, all with Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

Feb 15, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs  tight end Travis Kelce makes a speech at the Super Bowl LVII Champions Parade in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce lands gig as ‘SNL’ host

While Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes got to say, “I’m going to Disneyland” after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, teammate Travis Kelce earned another iconic media gig.

The All-Pro tight end will host “Saturday Night Live” on March 4.

The comedy sketch show tweeted about Kelce’s appearance on Thursday, and Kelce confirmed it in an appearance on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.” The “SNL” musical guest on March 4 will be Kelsea Ballerini.

Kelce told Fallon, a former “SNL” star, “I was a huge (Chris) Farley, (Will) Ferrell, Fallon kind of guy growing up,. And I used to watch ‘Saturday Night Live’ with my mother. It’s an absolute honor and a privilege to be hosting ‘SNL’ March 4th. I am so nervous for that — oh my gosh.”

Fallon replied that he told “SNL” showrunner Lorne Michaels regarding Kelce, “He’s so charming and he can sing and he’s fun.”

Kelce said, “You think that about me? Thanks, man. … You’re making me blush.”

Kelce, 33, won a Super Bowl showdown against his older brother, Jason Kelce, the Philadelphia Eagles’ center.

The brothers and their mother, Donna, soaked in the media spotlight last week ahead of the Super Bowl, in which the Chiefs beat the Eagles 38-35.

Jason Kelce, asked what he told Travis Kelce following the game, said, “(Expletive) you. Congratulations.”

Travis Kelce, now a two-time Super Bowl champion, is a four-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection in a 10-season career, all with Kansas City.

Numerous athletes have hosted “SNL” through the years, including Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Michael Phelps.

–Field Level Media

Feb 6, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA;  Donna Kelce hugs her son Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) while her other son Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) claps during Super Bowl Opening Night at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Cheryl Evans-USA TODAY Sports

Childhood dream comes true with a twist as Kelces clash in Super Bowl

The Kelce brothers used to dream of playing in a Super Bowl as children, but those visuals didn’t include the Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs.

Instead, Jason and Travis thought of reaching the big game with the hometown team they passionately rooted for and pretended they were members of during neighborhood football games.

“Growing up in Cleveland, we were always on the Browns together hoping to one day be in front of that crowd,” Jason Kelce of the Eagles said during Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday in Phoenix. “But it ended up being all right. Even though we’re not on the same team, to be able to play against him in (the Super Bowl) was something I don’t think any of us envisioned.”

The two brothers will share the ultimate act of football brotherly love on Sunday when Travis’ Chiefs face Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz.

Some people are referring to the big game as the “Kelce Bowl.” Sunday marks the first time in NFL history that two brothers have squared off against each other in a Super Bowl.

“It’s a dream come true,” Travis Kelce said. “It’s just cool for my family to be able to have this much fun. I want to thank the fans for making it fun for me and my family because it’s not going to be fun for one of us at the end of the day. It’s definitely a fun ride right now.”

Travis is 3-0 against Jason in previous NFL battles — the wins coming in 2013, 2017 and 2021.

This matchup, though, counts much more.

“Whoever wins this one will have the ultimate bragging rights,” Jason Kelce said. “We’re always rooting for each other. I always want him to do well. But I sure would like to get this one over his head.”

Both brothers already own a Super Bowl ring. Jason earned his when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018. Travis won his ring when the Chiefs posted a 31-20 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020.

Jason Kelce is a six-time Pro Bowl center reaching the twilight of his career. At age 35, he has hinted that retirement is an option after this season, his 12th in the NFL.

Travis Kelce of the Chiefs is an eight-time Pro Bowler in the prime of a stellar 10-year career. At age 33, he is considered one of the game’s all-time best tight ends and earlier this season became the fastest at the position (140 games) in history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards.

Two people who know the Kelces well are their mother and Chiefs coach Andy Reid — the latter coached Jason with the Eagles for two seasons before coaching Travis for the past 10 campaigns.

Said Reid: “Those two are special. They’re smart guys, they love to play the game — dirty, tough — and they’ll compete with the best of them. They’ll get after it on Sunday. They’re two good ones.”

Donna Kelce made an appearance during a joint interview on stage Monday and her presence was appreciated as she brought homemade cookies to her boys.

“It feels amazing that they have both been able to get to this point in their careers and for both to get to enjoy the Super Bowl together,” Donna Kelce said.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) moves the ball ahead of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins (2) during the first half in the AFC divisional round game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (back) to play vs. Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is expected to suit up for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, multiple media outlets reported.

Kelce is listed as questionable to play in the AFC title game after being a late addition to the injury report on Friday due to back spasms.

Kelce recorded 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 21.

One of those scoring strikes came from Patrick Mahomes, who is expected to start versus the Bengals. Mahomes participated in practice this week despite sustaining a right ankle injury against the Jaguars.

The Chiefs listed wide receivers Mecole Hardman (pelvis) and Justin Watson (illness) as questionable.

–Field Level Media

Dec 16, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs with the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Kelce off COVID list; Chiefs at full strength

The Kansas City Chiefs activated All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

That was just one piece of good news from head coach Andy Reid. The other: Everyone on the active roster is out of COVID-19 protocols.

The Chiefs had 14 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the past two weeks.

Kelce missed the Chiefs’ Week 16 rout of the Pittsburgh Steelers after testing positive.

On the season, Kelce has caught 83 passes for 1,066 yards with seven touchdowns. This is his sixth straight season with at least 1,000 yards.

In his ninth season in Kansas City, Kelce has caught 695 career passes for 8,947 yards and 55 touchdowns. He’s also run for two scores.

The Chiefs (11-4) have clinched the AFC West title and are seeking the No. 1 seed, which brings home-field advantage and a bye week. On Sunday, they will meet the Bengals (9-6) in Cincinnati, then close out the season Jan. 9 with the Broncos in Denver.

–Field Level Media