Witten has informed the Cowboys he will retire and join ESPN as an analyst for Monday Night Football, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Rumors of Witten's retirement first surfaced around draft time, but he evidently needed more time to consider the decision. After discussing the matter with his family and meeting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Witten ultimately determined the opportunity with ESPN was too good to pass up. The soon-to-be 36-year-old finishes his career as the Dallas franchise leader in receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448). Per the Dallas News, the team's current replacement options at the tight end position include Dalton Schultz, Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers, with veterans like Antonio Gates, Marcedes Lewis, Julius Thomas and Brent Celek all still available as free agents.
Witten is still contemplating retirement, with an announcement likely coming Wednesday, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports. Witten's words and actions since the end of last season suggested he'd continue playing, but he's apparently been impressed by the offers available to move into broadcasting. He met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday and continues to discuss the decision with his family, seemingly hoping to have an answer by mid-week. Witten will celebrate his 36th birthday May 6.
Witten will talk with his family and take some time to make a decision between continuing his playing career or moving into broadcasting, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. Witten said at the end of last season that he intended to continue playing, then reached an agreement in late March to restructure his contract. He seems to be having a change of heart as his 36th birthday approaches, now leaning toward joining the Monday Night Football broadcast team. Witten met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday to discuss his dilemma.
Witten is reportedly contemplating retirement, with an eye toward moving into broadcasting, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports. Per the report, Witten -- who previously stated that he would play in 2018 -- is slated to meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to discuss the potential decision. If the veteran pass catcher does indeed move on from his playing career, tight end would suddenly become a position of need for the Dallas franchise as Day 2 on the NFL Draft approaches.
Witten restructured his contract to free up $3.5 million 2018 cap space for the Cowboys, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. Witten presumably converted most of his base salary into a bonus, as opposed to taking an actual pay cut. He'll turn 36 in May and yet didn't give any thought to retirement, coming off a 2017 campaign in which he caught 63 of 87 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns, with a career-low mark of 8.9 yards per catch. Witten is locked in as the Cowboys' top tight end for at least one more year, hoping to play all 16 games for a 15th consecutive season. He's fourth on the all-time receptions list (1,152), but he likely would need to play three or four more seasons to move any higher.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||New York Giants||32||10.69|
|13||11/30||New Orleans Saints||5||5.22|
|16||12/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||5.00|
|17||12/30||@New York Giants||32||10.69|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||95||70||649||4||32||9.27||86|