Jason Witten is a name that would live long in the hearts of every fan of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his entire career that spanned 15 years, Witten spent it wearing the Cowboys shirt.
Though the tight end didn’t win a Super Bowl title, his individual performance did see him earn a number of awards like being named to the Pro Bowl 11 times and earning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2012. Jason brought his career to an end following the end of the 2017 season. However, he remained active in sports as he went ahead to become a color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Jason Witten Retirement
Retirement is inevitable for every professional athlete and Witten’s arrived in 2018. Signs of Jason’s retirement began to surface at the end of the 2017 season and became more apparent as the new year unfolded. The Dallas Cowboys did have a hard time bringing an end to their 15-season love story with the Tennessee native whom they selected in the third round (69th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft.
When his retirement was apparent for all to see, Dallas attempted to keep their tight end by offering him a deal that would make him serve as a safety blanket to Dak Prescott but Witten had had enough. Making his decision to hang up his helmet easier was the deal he received to join ESPN’s Monday Night Football. In Witten’s own words, the deal was too good to pass up. However, the ownership at Dallas Cowboys wasn’t offended by his decision to leave as he was hosted to a befitting send forth.
The franchise’s billionaire owner Jerry Jones, for his parting gift, gave Witten a diamond-encrusted football. Jones did praise Witten for his dedication to the team for a decade and a half. Also praising the tight end was his coach as well as a number of his former teammates from Dak Prescott to DeMarcus Ware.
Jason Witten ended his career ranking as second all-time in career receptions and receiving yards. He is bested only by the former tight end, Tony Gonzalez.
Jason Witten was no doubt one of the finest tight ends that the NFL ever saw and he was well rewarded for his incredible skills. As a matter of fact, he retired as the highest-earning tight end in NFL history.
According to Spotrac, a credible site that tracks athletes’ earnings, Witten’s career earnings hit $72.8 million. Only two other tight ends in the league have hit the $70 million mark, they are Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis who had a carer earning of $72.7 million and $70 million respectively. Los Angeles Chargers star Antonio Gates comes in next with $68.5 million.
Witten’s first contract to be made public was the six-year, $29 million contract extension he signed in 2006 to keep him through to 2012. That deal came with $12 million guaranteed. Witten signed a four-year $29.6 million contract extension in 2016 to keep him at the side till 2021. Obviously, he didn’t see that through. In 2017, his final year with the side, he earned $7.4 million.
It is not clear how much ESPN is paying Witten but we bet it was certainly huge enough to convince him to pass up on the chance to mint over $20 million in the space of three years. Denver Post reported his ESPN salary to be within $4 million and $4.5 million. Well, it seems fair, considering the less physical activity and risk involved in being an analyst.
Jason Witten’s Family – Wife and Kids
Jason Witten has got an adorable family with his wife Michelle (nee Benson Morley) whom he has known since he was a kid. Michelle was born on December 17th, 1979, and like Jason, she attended the University of Tennessee. She is an emergency room nurse by profession and for over a decade, she has worked at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Jason and his wife share four kids together including two sons, Christopher Jason and Cooper as well as two daughters Landry and Hadley.
Height, Weight, and Quick Facts
Jason Witten stands at 6 feet 6 inches in height and weighs about 263 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Birthdate: May 6, 1982
Birthplace: Elizabethton, Tennessee
Parents: Ed Witten and Kimberly Witten Barnett
Siblings: 2 (brothers Ryan and Shawn)
Education: Elizabethton High School, University of Tennessee.