If the first bold prediction Jason Witten has made since he retired from football becomes a reality, Aaron Rodgers is going to have another new weapon to throw to this upcoming season.
In an appearance on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” on Monday, Witten was asked for his thoughts on former teammate Dez Bryant still being a free agent. The Pro Bowl tight end said he believes Bryant is going to sign with the Green Bay Packers.
“I think Dez is certainly going to have plenty of opportunities,” Witten said. “He’s motivated, and I think he’s going to end up going to the Green Bay Packers. I think that’s a great spot for him. Aaron Rodgers throws that back-shoulder throw well, and Dez (would have) great chemistry with a quarterback who can put the ball wherever he wants.”
Witten made it clear that he does not have any inside information about where Bryant might end up, and he also mentioned the New Orleans Saints as another potential landing spot.
“I still believe Dez can high-point the football as good as any other receiver in the NFL,” Witten added. “You partner him up with Jimmy Graham and Aaron Rodgers, I think that offense can put up a lot of points. Losing Jordy Nelson in the offseason, I think it’s a win-win for the Packers. I look for him to go there.”
Bryant is said to be seeking a one-year “prove it” contract, but there have been reports that a lot of teams aren’t interested in him at any price. The fact that he was released so late in the offseason doesn’t help.
The Packers are an intriguing option for Bryant, especially given the supposed tension between Rodgers and the team this offseason. Adding a player like Bryant might take away some of the sting of losing Nelson.
If you want to know how highly respected Jason Witten is within the Dallas Cowboys organization, look no further than the way his teammates and those who work for the team supported the star tight end on Thursday.
Witten met with the media to formally announce that he is retiring from football, and the scene surrounding the press conference was surreal. As Witten made his way into the media room, dozens of players and team employees lined up to greet him.
As expected, Witten’s presser was an emotional one.
Witten was plenty productive in 2017 and seemed like he was going to play for at least another season, but he has decided to accept a job as the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” after ESPN made him an offer that was too good to turn down. The 35-year-old did not miss a single game over the last 14 of his 15 NFL seasons, and he finishes fourth all-time on the NFL’s receptions list behind only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald. You won’t find a player who is more universally respected than Witten, and that was evident on Thursday.
Jason Witten is retiring from the Dallas Cowboys to take the lead analyst job with “Monday Night Football,” and it seems as though Kurt Warner was the runner-up for the job. Some felt that a tweet Warner sent on Wednesday indicated he was frustrated with Witten being picked over him, but the Hall of Fame quarterback insists that was merely a coincidence.
In his initial tweet, Warner reminisced about the old days when the “BEST person for the job” would be the one who got it.
Many took that to mean Warner was upset that Witten, who has zero broadcasting experience, got the ESPN job over him. On Thursday, Warner claimed his tweet had nothing to do with his personal situation.
Warner has worked for NFL Network since 2010. He has also served as a color analyst for regional games on FOX Sports and filled in as a substitute analyst for “Monday Night Football” on Westwood One radio in 2014. You can understand why he would feel he is more qualified than Witten.
We know ESPN had another former player in mind as its top target for “Monday Night Football,” but Witten is said to have killed it during the interview process. That explains why they reportedly made the star tight end such a sizable offer.
Jason Witten has reportedly decided to trade in his helmet for a microphone.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Witten has informed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett that he is retiring from playing to take a job as the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football.”
“Witten struggled with the decision for the last week, but opted to walk away from the game,” Archer was told by sources.
The report is consistent with what ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said nearly a week ago.
Witten is an 11-time Pro Bowler and will almost certainly be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He finishes his playing career with 1,152 catches, which ranks fourth all time behind only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald. He spent all 15 seasons of his career with the Cowboys and appeared in every single game for the last 14.
While Witten proved he was still capable of producing last season with 63 catches for 560 yards and five touchdowns, the offer ESPN made him was simply too good to pass up.
Tony Romo and Jason Witten have had a close relationship since the two played together for many years with the Cowboys, and the star tight end knows just who to call if he needs advice on the dilemma he is currently facing.
Like Witten, Romo had to make a tough decision on whether to continue playing football or begin his career in broadcasting. After he shot a 5-over 77 in a U.S. Open qualifier at Gleneagles Country Club on Monday, Romo told reporters that not having won a Super Bowl is the toughest thing about walking away from playing.
“It’s very difficult. I think that’s the biggest challenge walking away is that you didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal that you set out for,” Romo said, via Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram. “That’s something that’s hard. I don’t think you ever really – that’s never something you’re OK with.
“I just think you have to make choices with where you’re at in life and what’s going on around you. Your family at your side, they’re a big part of those decisions that you make. I think that you could chase that thing forever and it might be the next year, but it might be 10 years away. It’s tough decision.”
CBS made Romo’s decision a lot easier by offering him a spot alongside Jim Nantz on the network’s top NFL broadcasting team. ESPN is reportedly trying to do the same with Witten, and they are said to be offering him a very hefty salary. Witten will turn 36 on May 6, so he is certainly older by NFL standards. That didn’t stop him from catching 63 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns last season. If he does decide to take a broadcasting job, it will likely be because the offer is simply too good to pass up.
The thought of Jason Witten retiring became a reality for the Dallas Cowboys on Monday.
According to CBS 11’s Bill Jones, who hosts the “Jason Garrett Show,” Witten was an official no-show to the team’s voluntary workout on Monday. That apparently was particularly impactful because Witten never misses workouts.
News of Witten’s retirement from the NFL came as nothing short of a shock. A report about the news circulated on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, meaning the Cowboys seemingly were not given proper notice to prepare for the move. Keep in mind that Witten said at the end of last season that he would be back in 2018. The veteran tight end reportedly has a hefty offer from ESPN and is said to be weighing a second broadcasting opportunity.
If Jason Witten decides he wants to continue playing for the Dallas Cowboys next season, the star tight end may be turning down one of the best job offers anyone without broadcasting experience has ever received.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that ESPN has made Witten an offer that would pay him in the range of $4 to 4.5 million annually to serve as the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football.” The prestige associated with the job combined with the hefty salary would help explain why Witten seems to be having second thoughts about returning to the field in 2018.
Witten caught 63 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns last season, so he is still capable of producing. However, he may not get a better offer down the road than the one ESPN is presenting him with this offseason. If a career in broadcasting is something Witten is passionate about, turning down more than $4 million per year to call games on “Monday Night Football” would be tough.
One report claims there is a second broadcast offer that Witten is contemplating, though it would be a shock if he turns down ESPN for another job in the booth.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is still pondering his future, and he reportedly has another option on the table.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Witten has another “interesting” broadcast proposal that he is considering in addition to joining the Monday Night Football broadcast team.
While it sounds like there is still no final decision, Witten certainly seemed to be leaning toward retirement. It had sounded like he was headed to ESPN, but another network has cast some doubt on that. It’s not clear when Witten will make his final decision, having already met with Jerry Jones.
After months of assurances, Jason Witten may be about to deliver a stunner to the Dallas Cowboys.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Witten, the team’s standout veteran tight end, intends to retire from the NFL and become ESPN’s new Monday Night Football analyst. He will meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones first before finalizing his decision.
Witten is an 11-time Pro Bowler and a likely future Hall of Famer. Even though his numbers are down overall, he still caught five touchdowns for Dallas in 2017.
The news comes as a shock, especially after he’d already said he intended to play in 2018. Clearly, the ESPN offer had some appeal, likely financially and in terms of the fact that it would certainly be less physically demanding than another year in the NFL. He’s following the career path taken by his former teammate and close friend, who probably gave him some counsel here as well.
Jason Witten will officially continue to grace us with his presence in 2018.
After the Cowboys’ season-ending victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the veteran tight end told reporters that he will be returning to the team for his 16th NFL season.
“Oh, I’m back,” said Witten, per Todd Archer of ESPN. “I’m coming back. I love playing this game too much and I know that I can play it at a high level.”
The 35-year-old Witten was still fairly productive in 2017, finishing with 63 catches for 560 yards and five touchdowns. He is under contract next season for a base salary of $5.75 million.
There had some rumors in recent months that Witten might pursue other opportunities outside of the NFL, but it appears that the 10-time Pro Bowler has at least one more season left in him.