Report: Jason Witten is Interested in Joining Jason Garrett in New York
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, a long-time thorn in the Giants side, is, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, reportedly interested in joining Jason Garrett, his former head coach in Dallas, in New York with the Giants.
Mortensen’s report didn’t specify if Witten, who will be an unrestricted free agent this year barring reaching a new deal with the Cowboys, would be interested in continuing his NFL career or if he’d like to become a coach.
But toward the end of the 2019 season, Witten told reporters that he would be interested in getting into coaching if his NFL career, which he resumed last season after a one-year hiatus to work for ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team, was indeed over.
With new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy having filled the tight end coaching job on his staff with Lunda Wells, previously the Giants tight ends coach, Witten would probably have to go elsewhere to start his coaching career if he is indeed done playing.
The 37-year-old Witten has 165 receptions and 16 touchdowns against the Giants, more than any other team he’s faced during his career. He also has 1,641 receiving yards in 32 games.
Last year with the Cowboys, he recorded 63 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns, with 11 receptions, 73 yards, and one touchdown coming in two games played against the Giants.
Witten’s best days might be behind him, but if he’s still able to pass a physical, he could provide a lift to the Giants tight ends group. Starter Evan Engram likely won’t be ready until training camp at the soonest after undergoing foot surgery last month.
Rookie Kaden Smith is projected to move into the role previously held by Rhett Ellison, that being as primarily an inline blocker who can also be used on occasion in the passing game, while Ellison will likely be a cap cut.
At best, Witten, who wouldn’t be free to sign a new contract until March 18, would be a short-term stop-gap solution for the Giants, who have struggled with injuries to Engram since they drafted him in the first-round back in 2017.
As far as becoming a coach, a decision that would be made by Joe Judge, who during his introductory press conference said he wants teachers on his staff, Witten, who never really appeared comfortable in the ESPN broadcast booth, would likely need to convince Judge that he’s a strong communicator who can explain things to younger players.
Witten probably won’t announce any decisions regarding his future until after the Super Bowl.