Witten projects to play around 25 snaps per game in 2019 and will not impede the progress of the Cowboys' young tight ends, Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Witten's return to the Cowboys was great news for just about everybody but Blake Jarwin, who broke out with a monster seven-reception, 119-yard, three-score outing in the team's regular-season finale last season. With Geoff Swaim set to become a free agent this spring, that performance seemingly had Jarwin positioned atop the depth chart entering the offseason over the likes of Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers. While Witten's addition at first seems like it could threaten Jarwin's perch, the fact that Witten only wants 20ish snaps per game means Jarwin doesn't need to be a starter to see enough playing time to be of fantasy worth. Witten, meanwhile, logged roughly 17 offensive snaps for every reception he had in his last full season, which doesn't make him a very exciting fantasy prospect ahead of the 2019 campaign, given the workload that's reportedly in store for him.
Witten announced that he is coming out of retirement and is signing a contract with the Cowboys for the 2019 season, Nick Eatman of the team's official site reports. "The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong," the tight end said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to getting back in the dirt."
Witten retired from the league last May after his inconsistent Cowboys team finished 9-6 and missed the playoffs, opting to try his hand at a career in broadcasting instead. However, it seems the opportunity to join a promising, refreshed Cowboys roster that finished the 2018 season 10-6 (with a divisional crown and playoff berth) was too enticing for Witten to pass up. The legendary tight end will likely enter training camp atop the depth chart and will now get another chance to compete for a Super Bowl. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Witten's contract is a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.
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.
Witten said after Sunday's 6-0 win over the Eagles that he intends to come back in 2018, Kate Hairopoulos of The Dallas Morning News reports.
His 2017 season didn't exactly end on a high note, as he caught only two of three passes for 17 yards, but Witten still feels like he can contribute to the Cowboys. The 35-year-old posted career lows in catches, receiving yards and targets this season, however, and at this point he offers no downfield threat at all, simply providing Dak Prescott with a reliable checkdown option. With the team likely looking for ways to add more of a vertical element to its offense next season, it's hard to imagine Witten's production bouncing back in any way.
Witten caught one of two targets for a 20-yard touchdown in Sunday's win over the Giants.
He's been a Giant killer throughout his illustrious career, grabbing 15 touchdowns in 30 games against them -- including scores in both 2017 meetings. Witten's volume numbers continue trending down at 35 years old, but he remains a solid security blanket for Dak Prescott, and the tight end's five touchdowns this season show his best total since 2014.
Witten brought in one of five targets for an eight-yard touchdown in Thursday's 38-14 win over the Redskins.
The veteran tight end opened the scoring on the night with an eight-yard grab in the first quarter, his first touchdown since Week 7. Witten's production has been a bit volatile recently, as he's alternated a trio of one-catch efforts with a pair of seven-reception games over the last five contests. However, the 35-year-old is capable of a strong effort on any given week, considering his frequent role as a security blanket for Dak Prescott. He'll look to up his numbers against the Giants in a Week 14 road matchup.
Witten caught all seven of his targets for 44 yards in Thursday's 28-6 loss to the Chargers.
He was once again Dak Prescott's favorite checkdown option, but the aging tight end wasn't able to do much with the ball after the catch. Witten's erratic target volume -- he's alternated games of seven targets and one target over the last month -- make him a risky fantasy play even in PPR formats, but with injuries mounting on the Cowboys' offensive line, his role could become steadier down the stretch as Prescott finds himself with less time in the pocket.
Witten caught his only target for seven yards in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.
Dak Prescott's struggles dragged down the production of the entire Cowboys passing attack in this one, but it was hardly the first time Witten's been nearly invisible this season -- he's had four games in 2017 with single-digit receiving yards. The future Hall of Famer is clearly reaching the end of his illustrious career, but he may still have one or two more solid performances left in him.
Witten caught all seven pass attempts thrown his way for 59 yards in Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Falcons.
The seven targets were the most Witten has seen since he saw eight in Week 5. All of them came while Atlanta was in the prevent defense, with two coming in the final 90 seconds of the first half and the final five late in the fourth quarter after the game was out of hand. It will be tough to count on the 35-year-old for continued production against the Eagles in Week 11.
Witten caught his only target for five yards in Sunday's win over the Chiefs.
Dak Prescott fired the vast majority of his passes to his wide receivers in this one, leaving little left over for Witten. It's the third time this season he's been held to single digits in receiving yards, and there's no guarantee he'll be able to rebound this week on the road against a Falcons defense that's been even tougher this season than the Chiefs against opposing tight ends.
Witten caught three of his five targets for 31 yards in Sunday's win over Washington.
He didn't see a lot of action on a wet, rainy night, but the same could be said for the entire Cowboys passing game. Witten's currently on pace for a season similar to what he's produced in recent years, but he could see an uptick in usage over the next six games with Ezekiel Elliott being forced to serve his six-game suspension.
Witten caught all four of his targets for 54 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 40-10 rout of the 49ers.
An inexperienced Niners linebacking corps wasn't able to keep the wily veteran from doing maximum damage with the opportunities he got in a blowout win. While Witten's yards per target continue to dwindle with age, he's on pace for 82 catches on 112 targets, which would be his highest totals since 2012, and that volume is keeping him relevant even in shallower fantasy formats.
Witten caught eight of 10 targets for 61 yards in Sunday's 35-31 loss to Green Bay.
Witten started the season off hot with 17 catches and two scores in the team's first two games. He managed just two catches total in Weeks 3 and 4 before bouncing back on Sunday. It's hard to tell this early in the season which is the real Witten, but after 15 seasons, history appears to be on his side as leaning more toward the reliable side, especially in favorable matchups like the Green Bay clash.
Witten caught one of two targets for nine yards in Sunday's loss to the Rams.
After scoring in each of the first two games of the season, Witten has been held in check in the last two, tallying only two catches for 12 yards on six targets. Things may not get any better for the veteran next week against a Packers defense that's given up only 12 catches for 106 yards and no TDs to tight ends through four games.
Witten caught just one of four targets for three yards in Monday's win over the Cardinals.
He threw some big blocks in the second half to open holes for Ezekiel Elliott, but the veteran tight end didn't do much to pad his own stat line. Witten could be kept close to the line to block again in Week 4 against a dangerous Rams front seven, potentially capping his targets and fantasy ceiling.
Witten caught 10 of 13 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 42-17 loss to the Broncos.
Dallas' all-time leader in catches and receiving yards added another franchise record to his tally when he passed Ed "Too Tall" Jones and played in his 225th game as a Cowboy. Witten also leapfrogged Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison to take fourth place on the NFL's career receptions leaderboard with 1,106. The future Hall of Famer has had a great start to the 2017 season, and with a number of top tight ends getting hurt already this year, he looks like a very safe fantasy harbor heading into next week's road game against the Cardinals.
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