Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday afternoon, where they covered a myriad of topics ranging from the Chiefs' offensive struggles to whether or not he should try to punt a football into the suite level at Arrowhead Stadium the next time he scores a touchdown.
The interview in full can be seen in the video below:
The first order of business was Kelce's health and whether or not his hyperextended knee was back to 100%. There’s good news for Chiefs Kingdom: Kelce confirmed that his knee is no longer an issue.
"I'm not even thinking about it anymore. We are past that," said Kelce, adding that he was upset with himself for missing the season opener against the Detroit Lions, "I felt like an absolute idiot not being able to be out there for my team — that's why you have to make sure everything is firing in the body and that you're all tuned up."
With Kelce absent from the lineup, the offense struggled to move the ball down the field, and even upon his return last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City still struggled to put points on the board, playing poorly and committing numerous penalties. Kelce himself struggled in the game. Despite catching a touchdown, he was only able to bring in four out of the nine targets thrown his way for a modest 26 yards.
Kelce admitted the offense needs to play better moving forward.
"Every year presents its challenges; I think we have just been playing behind the sticks, to be honest — penalties, the drops, all that," but Kelce also added that he's confident this is a temporary problem. "I think we will get all cleared up as guys get more comfortable in their roles. We got a young team... the chemistry has to keep building."
Later, Kelce talked specifically about this weekend.
"This week's gameplan, baby, it's got me fired up."
Getting in fights
Kelce was involved in a now-infamous altercation between him and Chiefs linebacker Jack Cochrane during training camp, where Kelce punched his teammate in the side of his helmet after a play.
Mahomes to Kelce, little chirping after the catch pic.twitter.com/kv56jIyiUH— Nick Roesch (@Nicolas_Roesch) July 29, 2023
Kelce didn't mince words when reflecting on the incident.
"I'm not going to lie, I was pretty fired up, and I'm still pretty fired up. I don't know if you saw this last game, but I was getting a little chippy," said Kelce, referring to a verbal altercation he got into with Jaguars linebacker Foyesade Oluokun after the game.
A look from our photographer @photogburk after the Chiefs-Jaguars game involving Travis Kelce and Foyesade Oluokun. Patrick Mahomes, Nick Bolton, Tyson Campbell all playing peace maker. pic.twitter.com/mvjJiG6ub6— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) September 18, 2023
Regarding getting into fights with his teammates, though, Kelce dialed it back.
"You can't do it."
This didn't sit well with McAfee and his crew, who replied that, in his opinion, Kelce had nothing to apologize for, saying that the fact Kelce still cares so much after 11 years in the league is proof of his leadership.
"You're apologizing," replied McAfee. "This guy still gives a s—t in a training camp practice that doesn't matter, we should all be striving for that."
"I was throwing no look hooks," joked Kelce after the fact. "I was just pissy... gotta keep it together boys."
Thoughts about retirement
While Kelce is closing in on records for the tight end position, at 33 years old, he knows that he has more years behind him than ahead of him. To that point, McAfee asked Kelce if thoughts of retirement ever crept into his mind.
Kelce replied that he isn't thinking about retirement any time soon, saying that he loves the game of football too much and wants to play for as long as he can.
"Hasn't crossed my mind. I thoroughly enjoy putting on a helmet and just going out there and competing. I'd like to live that dream for as long as I can, that's for damn sure."
Is he making enough money?
With defensive tackle Chris Jones' holdout still fresh in everybody's minds, and news of Patrick Mahomes' restructured contract breaking recently, McAfee naturally asked Kelce if the outside noise of people saying he is underpaid ever gets to him — and whether he would be seeking a new contract.
In true Kelce fashion, the Chiefs; All-Pro tight end gave a refreshing and down-to-earth answer that will be music to Chiefs fans and general manager Brett Veach's ears.
"I don't listen to the noise," explained Kelce, "I know I get paid a f—k ton — excuse me, a lot of money to do what I love. I have a lot of fun coming into this building every single day. So me holding out and not being here, I don't see a scenario where that happens. I don't ever want the person affected by the money situation... so I let my agents handle all of that, they can be the bad guys... I just want to go out there and ball man; I am lucky to have the per-year that I have."
He added he is also benefitting financially from having a superstar like Patrick Mahomes on the roster.
"Listen, I bank off of Pat in the offseason. He got me the State Farm commercial, he got me the Subway commercial. He's throwing me a bone when he can."