Report: ESPN tried to keep Witten for Monday Night Football

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

According to The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins, ESPN attempted to keep Jason Witten. However, according to his sources, the tight end ‘didn’t like the TV life.’

“He missed the game and didn’t like the T.V. life,” Watkins’ sources said. “ESPN liked him, he was going to do more in the draft to build his confidence.”

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten warms up prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers
Jason Witten warms up prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers (Getty Images)

Witten struggled in the Monday Night Football booth throughout the season. He was criticized by the media and fans when he struggled. 

Now, he is going back to playing for the Dallas Cowboys, where he was comfortable being a football player. He spent 15 seasons with the team before stepping away last April to accept the ESPN Monday Night Football role. 

Witten was paid $4 million during the one season with ESPN. He has received a one-year deal worth $3.5 million to come back to the field. 

“We thank Jason for his many contributions to Monday Night Football and to ESPN over the past year and wish him continued success,” ESPN said in a statement. “We have seen many former coaches and players go into broadcasting before eventually returning to the game they love, so we understand Jason’s desire to return to the Dallas Cowboys. In the coming weeks, we will determine our MNF plans for the 2019 season.”

The Elizabethton, Tennessee native Witten — who will be 37 on May 6th — spent 15 seasons with the team. He appeared in 239 games, including 229 starts. 

He had 1,152 receptions for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns. 

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