Former Tennessee Vols great Jason Witten retired from the NFL after the 2017 season to pursue a career in broadcasting with ESPN.
His foray into broadcasting, however, is over, at least for now, after only one season in the booth.
Multiple reports on Thursday indicated that Witten will return to the NFL in 2019 to suit up for the Dallas Cowboys, the only team he’s played for in his professional career.
Dallas will pay Witten, who turns 37 in May, $5 million to play in 2019.
The #Cowboys are giving their new/old TE Jason Witten roughly $5M to come out of retirement for the 2019 season, source said. Witten had considered it for some time, now makes the dramatic return.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2019
Witten played in 16 games for the Cowboys in 2017, catching 63 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns.
Blake Jarwin was the Cowboys’ leader in receptions (27) and receiving yards (307) among tight ends in 2018.
Witten’s return to the NFL is certainly surprising given his age, but it’s not exactly shocking. The former Vol struggled during his lone season in the Monday Night Football booth, often drawing harsh criticisms from fans and members of the media.
The big storyline with Witten’s return to the field is who will replace him on ESPN on Monday nights.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who hasn’t retired, is reportedly being pursued by ESPN.
So those reports of ESPN pursuing Greg Olsen do make all the more sense here, as Olsen would fit into this role very well.
However, according to Panthers coach Ron Rivera, Greg Olsen told Rivera he wants to play in 2019. https://t.co/pN2IDu6Jwy
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 28, 2019
Featured image via Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports