Cowboys TE Jason Witten Officially Retires & Joins ESPN

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ESPN, which wants Witten for its Monday Night Football analyst role vacated by Jon Gruden, is reportedly offering the Hall of Fame tight end twice as much as he was being paid by the Cowboys.

Witten, who will turn 36-years-old on Sunday, is joining the very men who have been reporting on him: ESPN.

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David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports that ESPN is offering Witten a contract worth $4 million-plus a year.

A second television network also reportedly made a late pitch to Witten.

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Witten, who will turn 36 Sunday, finishes his future Hall of Fame career with 1,152 catches, ranking 4th in National Football League history, trailing only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald.

The 11-time Pro Bowler has been contemplating the decision to retire for the last week before finally making it official on Thursday.

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He ranks fourth all time in career receptions, first in Cowboys franchise history in catches and receptions, and third in franchise history in receiving touchdowns - just three scores behind Bob Hayes and five back of Dez Bryant. Witten did not show up for Cowboys voluntary practices earlier this week. Their depth chart now consists of fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz, Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers, who have a combined nine career receptions. They have combined for nine career receptions, all by Swaim. Already the key defensive leader, linebacker Sean Lee will also step into that void. Team owner Jerry Jones has spoken with him in hopes that he'll re-think his decision.

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