Jason Witten is a name that would live long in the hearts of all fans of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Throughout his career, which spanned 15 years, Witten always wore the Cowboys’ jersey.
Although the Tight End did not win a Super Bowl title, his individual performance has earned him a number of awards, including 11 Pro Bowls and the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Jason ended his career at the end of the 2017 season, but he remained active in the sport while becoming a color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Retirement is inevitable for every professional athlete, and the Witten-based company will be there in 2018. Signs of Jason’s retirement began to emerge at the end of the 2017 season and became increasingly clear as the new year progressed. The Dallas Cowboys had a hard time ending their 15-season love affair with the Tennessee-born athlete they selected in the third round (69th in total) of the 2003 NFL Draft.
When his resignation became apparent to everyone, Dallas tried to hang on to the tight budget by offering him a deal where he would serve as a security blanket for Dak Prescott, but Witten had had enough. The decision to hang up his helmet was made easier by the deal that allowed him to play Monday Night Football on ESPN. In Witten’s own words, the deal was too good to give up. However, the owners of the Dallas Cowboys were not offended when he decided to leave the company, as he was received in a reasonable setting.
The billionaire owner of the franchise, Jerry Jones, presented Witten with a diamond-studded football as a farewell gift. Jones praised Witten for his commitment to the team over a decade and a half. His coach and a number of his former team-mates, from Dak Prescott to DeMarcus Ware, also praised the close end.
Jason Witten ended his career as the runner-up of all time in the ranking of career receptions and reception hotels. He is now only beaten by the former tight end, Tony Gonzalez.
Jason Witten was without a doubt one of the best tight ends the NFL has ever seen and he was well rewarded for his incredible skills. In fact, he retired as the highest-earning Tight End in NFL history.
According to Spotrac, a credible website that tracks athletes’ earnings, Witten’s career earnings amounted to $72.8 million. Only two other tight ends in the league reached the $70 million mark, Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis, who earned $72.7 million and $70 million respectively as coaches. The star of the Los Angeles Chargers, Antonio Gates, comes in next with $68.5 million.
Witten’s first contract to become publicly known was the contract extension of six years and $29 million, which he signed in 2006 to keep him until 2012. That contract was guaranteed at $12 million. Witten signed a four-year contract extension of $29.6 million in 2016 to keep him on until 2021. Obviously, he didn’t finish the job. In 2017, his last year at his side, he earned $7.4 million.
It’s not clear how much ESPN Witten is paying, but we bet it was certainly big enough to convince him to give up the chance to mint over $20 million in three years. Denver Post stated that his ESPN salary was between $4 million and $4.5 million. Well, given the lower physical activity and the lower risk of an analyst, that seems fair.
Jason Witten’s Family – Wife and Kids
Jason Witten has a charming family with his wife Michelle (nee Benson Morley), whom he has known since childhood. Michelle was born on December 17, 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 have four children together, including two sons, Christopher Jason and Cooper, and two daughters, Landry and Hadley.
Height, Weight, and Quick Facts
Height: 6 feet 6 inches
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.