Jason Witten reportedly aims to retire to pursue completely different career
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten plans to retire to take the lead analyst role on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Jason Witten is planning to retire after 15 years to join ESPN's new Monday Night Football broadcast team as a lead analyst but will meet today with owner Jerry Jones before making his decision final, per sources.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 27, 2018
Witten had been rumored as a candidate to replace Jon Gruden, but the front-runner, as of just a few weeks ago, had been considered to be former Rams QB Kurt Warner.
The 35-year-old Witten had been considered more of a long shot since he is still under contract with the Cowboys, is playing well and had expressed a desire to keep playing football.
“I’m as motivated now as I’ve ever been to play this position at a high level and help my team in all situations as a leader, as a veteran, but most importantly as a tight end and what that position consists of in this offense,” he told the Dallas Morning News after the season. “With that, we got to get back to work, evaluate it, strip it down to the most simple form.”
If the reports prove correct, ESPN must have made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Witten has not confirmed the news, but ESPN reported that the tight end planned to meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday to inform him of the decision.
“Two sources said Witten’s plans won’t be final until he receives Jones’ blessing, and one source allowed that Witten could always have a last-minute change of heart,” ESPN’s Mortensen reported.
The Morning News’ David Moore reported that the meeting with Jones took place but there was no official word yet on his status.
Source: Jason Witten has had his meeting with Jerry Jones to discuss retirement. No final announcement has emerged, but all signs point to Witten leaving for the TV booth, as first reported by ESPN.
— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) April 27, 2018
If he does retire, it will mark the end of what will certainly be a Hall of Fame career.
It really is impossible to choose a greatest play ever from Jason Witten's career, but this is without a doubt one of the most memorable/incredible. pic.twitter.com/CQyNeVmSob
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) April 27, 2018
In 15 seasons, all with the Cowboys, Witten ranks fourth in NFL history in receptions with 1,152. Only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald have more catches.
He also has 12,448 receiving yards, which ranks 21st all time and second among tight ends, behind only Gonzalez.
Witten has also been named to the Pro Bowl 11 times, including last year when he had 63 catches for 560 yards and five touchdowns.
If he does hang up the cleats for the microphone, Witten would follow two former Cowboys into the broadcast booth.
Troy Aikman retired in 2000 to become lead analyst for Fox, while Tony Romo retired last year to become lead analyst for CBS.
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