Report: ESPN offering Jason Witten $4-4.5 million per year

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If Cowboys tight end Jason Witten plays football this year, he’ll earn a base salary of $1.05 million and up to $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses. If he accepts the pending offer from ESPN, he’ll make a lot more than that.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that the pending Monday Night Football offer to Witten would pay $4-4.5 million per year.

If Witten ultimately decides to keep playing for less than half the amount he’d make by not playing, the potential alternatives could include Kurt Warner, Rex Ryan, Matt Hasselbeck, Booger McFarland, and Louis Riddick. According to the Washington Post, each of those four candidates has been considered for the job.

Whoever gets the gig will be paired with Joe Tessitore, the new play-by-play announcer. ESPN has been working for months to find a replacement for Jon Gruden, who left after nine years to become coach of the Raiders.

54 responses to “Report: ESPN offering Jason Witten $4-4.5 million per year

  1. If they are really offering that much, he has to take the deal. Yes, he wants to win a championship but be honest. That team isn’t close. 4.5 million a year to announce a game you love, stay connected with the game and players around the league. Retire as a sure fire hall of fame player and get an amazing gig like that?

    I know the decision won’t be easy but it should be clear.

  2. If Fox isn’t also trying to lure him over to Thursday Night Football, I’ll be surprised.

    I’d like to see MNF move back to ABC. NFL should never be exclusively on a pay channel.

  3. A month ago, the Cowboys converted $4.7M of Witten’s 2018 salary into a signing bonus. Sio he’s really making $5.75M in 2018.

  4. magnumpimustache says:
    April 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm
    He is the most over rated TE.
    His YAC yardage is a true testament as to his lack of effort after the catch as well as for his lack of touchdowns.
    ==================================================================================

    Right. Witten only has the 4th most receptions in NFL history, and is 21st all time in receiving yards. Not just for TE’s, I’m talking most among all NFL players ever. Yes, he’s a real slacker.

  5. Witten has always been a class guy. At his age, getting that money, he should follow Romo and become a GOAT broadcaster. Either way, I wish him luck.

  6. I am a big Cowboys fan and like Witten. Hate to lose him! But…ESPN is offering more than twice what the Cowboys would pay! Further, I hear there is a competing offer for more! Witten, take the money bro! In 5 years or more, see you in Canton.

  7. No wonder ESPN is broke and laying off 100’s of employees. They are giving unproven retired players with ZERO TV experience $4.5 million to work 16 games a year!

    Great business model and another reason, of many, to never watch BSPN again!

  8. No wonder guys like Mayock are pissed about not being able to land booth jobs in the NFL. They are paying guys like Romo and Witten (and presumably others that are under consideration) a crap-ton of money with no booth experience. Guys that have been grinding at the college level, or on the radio, are not getting shots at these jobs. So far, it hasn’t been horrible. Romo has been solid, albeit with his quirks.

    The play-by-play guys are going to start rioting if they don’t get something close to the kind of money being thrown at announcing amateurs that played the game. Many of them, as well as the color analysts, have spent years, or even decades, honing their craft to be in position to get these jobs, and they don’t even hit the radar? Has to be frustrating.

  9. They are offering him $4-4.5M a year. However, Witten just restructured his deal this spring converting $4.735 into signing bonus. He’d potentially lose $500k-1M if the Cowboys sought to make him pay it back.

  10. Witten isn’t the same player he was in his prime but he can still add value to this team that is young, hungry, has talent across the board and just added some nice pieces over the Weekend. NFL is year to year league but once you step away, it is gone forever–im sure Witten is thinking about all the aspects that go into making that commitment. either way he decides, he’s a legend in Dallas forever.

  11. In the immortal words of the Steve Miller Band….Go on, take the money and run!!

    Class act, good career, best of luck to you sir.

  12. Jerry may have some dirt on him from years ago. Watch Jason mysteriously commit to another year as a Cowboy and he will say that he’s coming back because he just wants to win another Super Bowl ring for Jerry.

  13. Great, another cowboy commentator. The NFL Network is already Dallas/New England Central..now we are being saturated with cowboys in the booth too.

  14. As a lifelong Eagles fan I have to say that I have so much respect for Whitten as a player and a person. He was drafted one slot after my Eagles foolishly selected a tight end whose been out of football for a long time now, L.J.Smith. Whether he chooses to stay with the Cowboy’s one more season or go to the broadcast booth he has my ultimate respect after all there are only two Cowboys I could never boo from the cheap seats on Sunday afternoons in Philly….Jason Whitten and Emmitt Smith.

  15. Correction: if Jason Witten plays this year, he would earn a $1M base salary, up to $750K in per game bonuses, AND $4.735M IN SIGNING BONUS. Witten was set to earn a salary of more than $6M this year before restructuring for the purpose of lowering his 2018 cap number. IF HE RETIRES, HE’LL PAY THAT MONEY BACK, because the move was done to lower his cap number only (which of course would have happened had he just retired then and there). So in actuality he has roughly $6.5M on the line if he doesn’t play, and would be losing money if he retires and takes this ESPN offer. #factchecking

  16. Witten is no fool. He realizes that he has absolutely zero chance of making to, let alone winning, a SB with with the Cowboys. Why take the additional beating? He is done.

  17. This guy is always labeled a “sure fire hall of famer” but I feel like I’ve watched him for a really long time and he has always been a slow, lumbering pass catcher. Maybe what they mean is he’s a sure fire hall of famer of the local chinese buffet in Dallas.

  18. He doesn’t have to block in the ESPN booth, about all he was good for in dallas…. just like the rest of their now garbage tight ends. He’s gone, he smart enough to know Dak is garbage

  19. Nothing but respect for Witten, but isn’t it great seeing the Cowboys so desperate? They should’ve planned better…but for that, you need a real GM.

  20. redsoxu571 says:
    April 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm
    Correction: if Jason Witten plays this year, he would earn a $1M base salary, up to $750K in per game bonuses, AND $4.735M IN SIGNING BONUS. Witten was set to earn a salary of more than $6M this year before restructuring for the purpose of lowering his 2018 cap number. IF HE RETIRES, HE’LL PAY THAT MONEY BACK, because the move was done to lower his cap number only (which of course would have happened had he just retired then and there). So in actuality he has roughly $6.5M on the line if he doesn’t play, and would be losing money if he retires and takes this ESPN offer. #factchecking

    ——————————————

    Correction: He hasn’t actually been given that bonus yet so he wouldn’t have to pay it back, as he doesn’t have it yet. #factchecking

  21. So how many people will ESPN have to fire to make up for that 4-4.5 million per year?

    I wouldn’t count on that being a long term term at ESPN. You’ll probably have to move to CBS/Fox/NBC at some point when the next tv deals are up.

  22. Weirdest thing in Dallas. All of their pass catchers suddenly became old and ineffective at the start of the 2016 season. Not sure why though, it’s a real head-scratcher.

  23. I like Witten and think he’ll be a good commentator. That being said, I’ve never tuned in based on the commentators and I doubt anybody else does, either. Just weird that ESPN is laying people off right and left but have an endless supply of cash to throw at commentators who will bring in absolutely no new viewers.

  24. Witten has been a great TE for Dallas, but it’s time for him to move on with the rest of his life.

  25. Is this the very same ESPN that got rid of a TON of people last year to save money? They let go some really talented people so this offer is puzzling.

  26. It’s kind of sad to see folks diss Witten here as a TE. That’s the Sportscenter-ization of football — only flashy ‘Highlight’ plays make you a great player (and Witten has his share of highlight footage to boot).
    No, he’s not Gronk or Tony Gonzalez, but, he’s certainly in the upper reaches in the next tier of all-time TE greats.

    Add in his class, toughness, durability, blocking ability (something which many fans don’t seem to take into account with TE’s – them Sportcenter clips again) and sure-handedness and Witten is a no-brainer Hall Of Famer.

  27. Robert says:
    April 30, 2018 at 3:51 pm
    He is a great player. How does that qualify for the booth?
    —————–
    Uh, because a Company is willing to pay him that much. You seem to be a little jealous! By the way what’s the qualification to talk Football? Extreme knowledge of the game and great personality? I think he’s got that cover son…

  28. akaodoyle says:
    April 30, 2018 at 3:27 pm
    Weirdest thing in Dallas. All of their pass catchers suddenly became old and ineffective at the start of the 2016 season. Not sure why though, it’s a real head-scratcher

    //////////////////////////

    Great question. We would have to look for a common denominator. Well there was a strong El Nina in the Pacific, we had a solar eclipse or Dak is the QB. Hmmmm, wonder what caused this?

  29. It’s funny how when Zeke was on the field with Dak in 2016, so many people said Dak was the best young QB in the league and was better than Wentz and was gonna win all these Super Bowls like the glory days of the early 90’s. Then Zeke misses a big chunk of time, and suddenly Dak is a liability, he can’t make reads, he doesn’t throw catchable balls, and all their receivers are now worse because of him. That’s the impact a RB like Zeke has on an offense. He took so much pressure off Dak that people thought he was the next Aikman lol

    Yet there’s still a large portion of people who think running backs aren’t valuable and the Giants taking Barkley instead of a young raw inexperienced turnover prone QB like Darnold was a bad pick. Maybe it’s time to start adjust how we evaluate quarterbacks and running backs in terms of building an offense. Look what Fournette did for a Bortles-led offense. Look what Gurley does for the Rams. Look how great Dak looked with Zeke, and how bad he looked without him. But a RB like Barkley at 2 is stupid, while a turnover prone QB who was a linebacker/basketball player just a few years ago is viewed as a slam dunk lol

    This doesn’t make any sense to me.

  30. Poor Dallas, they are stuck with 27.9 million of dead cap. Romo 8.9 million, Bryant 8 million and Witten 4.735 million are the top three.

  31. I compared gronk’s career with the best 8 year span of witttens career (2007-2014)

    Witten’s per 16 game season average: 958 yards, 5 tds
    Gronks career average – 1126 yards, 12tds.

    To say that witten should automatically be in the hall of fame seems to be more about his length of solid years in his career than his single season success.

    To me witten is just a yards guy with minimal touchdowns. I never looked at him as the best in his position but more as a long term solid player.

    Derek mason is top 20 all time in catches (muhsin muhammad top 25), doesn’t make them hall of famers same goes for keenan mccardell. Exceptionally high volume doesn’t mean exceptionally high talent. Someone on a team has to get 100+ targets each year.

  32. Poor Dallas, they are stuck with 27.9 million of dead cap. Romo 8.9 million, Bryant 8 million and Witten 4.735 million are the top three.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    That's what happens when you keep redoing deals to save cap space. At some point it catches up to you. Just like putting it on the credit card. Now pay the bill.
    I have no sorrow for teams that do this repeatedly.

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