FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys don’t have room for Jason Witten. So the iconic tight end will now not only find himself in a new city; it'll be the newest NFL city of all, as he's joining the Las Vegas Raiders.
Witten himself has said he plans to go into coaching following retirement, but at 37, the future Hall-of-Famer didn't wish stop playing. And so he forges on, with a one-year contract that can reportedly pay him up to $4.75 million in 2020.
This happens, of course, as the Cowboys turn the page to the newly-re-signed Blake Jarwin.
Witten returned to Dallas after a year in the ESPN broadcast booth and considered himself productive in 2019 as he had 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns. But while Jerry Jones has often called Witten “one of the top five people I’ve met in football,” new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy - who has visited with Witten about what McCarthy called his many career “options” - never committed a roster spot to him.
Interestingly, Witten will be playing for Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who he replaced two years ago on Monday Night Football when Gruden returned to coaching.
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And while Witten could have accepted a Cowboys job as a lower-level coach, or in scouting or in administration (McCarthy, with unilateral power to hire his own staff has tabbed Lunda Wells to supervise tight ends) it became clear that his real “option” would be to work against the Cowboys rather than with them.
"I think it will be a pretty quick decision,'' Witten said back in Week 17 of his retirement choice timetable. "When I’m done playing, (coaching is) something I’d like to do, for sure.''
At what level would Witten like to coach?
"Right here,'' Witten said, again cleverly leaving the listener responsible for determining if "right here'' means "the NFL'' or "the Cowboys.''
That seems a way off now. Jason Witten instead will keep the same old career ... in a brand new locale.