Jason Witten is one of the greatest tight ends to ever play in the NFL. He ultimately became a Dallas Cowboys legend and will most likely make the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day once he is eligible. What will he do once he is done playing football, though? He didn’t play in 2018 and was an analyst for ESPN on Monday Night Football, but then came back and has played in 16 games in each of the last two seasons. Well, Witten’s next job might have just been revealed, and it doesn’t involve playing football or fumbling around in the broadcast booth.
Jason Witten is a Dallas Cowboys legend
Jason Witten went to the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft after having a nice college career with the Tennessee Volunteers. He then became a key part of the Cowboys’ offense in his second season in 2004. He caught 87 passes for 980 yards and six touchdowns that year, earning a Pro Bowl selection.
Witten then earned seven consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 2004 through 2010 with the Cowboys and earned First-Team All-Pro honors twice in 2007 and 2010. He also gained over 1,000 receiving yards in 2007, 2009, and 2010 during that stretch, and recorded as many as 1,145 in 2007.
Witten had another good year in 2011 but missed out on Pro Bowl honors. He earned three consecutive Pro Bowl selections again, though, from 2012 through 2014, and gained over 1,000 receiving yards again in 2012.
The 2017 season was Witten’s final Pro Bowl season, and he then retired after that. However, he returned to the NFL in 2019 and played with the Cowboys again. He caught 63 passes for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2020, though, Witten played on a different team for the first time in his career. He appeared in 16 games for the Las Vegas Raiders and caught 13 passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
He did not do well in the ESPN broadcast booth
During the 2018 NFL season, Witten was an analyst on ESPN for Monday Night Football. His time in the booth was mediocre at best, as he often caught viewers by surprise by stumbling on common phrases.
“Witten was criticized for saying in September that ‘it seems like we went a little bit to the left wing’ when talking about the NFL’s roughing-the-passer penalties,” The Washington Post wrote in 2019. “In November, he was mocked for exclaiming that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ‘pulled a rabbit out of his head.’ During a December game, Witten said of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, ‘One of the best things he does is run after catch.'”
Witten then left the booth and returned to the NFL in 2019 and 2020. However, he now might have a new job lined up that doesn’t involve playing football or attempting to call a game in a broadcast booth.
Jason Witten is potentially a candidate to coach at Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers, Witten’s college team, recently fired their head coach, Jeremy Pruitt, due to potential recruiting violations, according to ESPN.
Dan Patrick reported that Tennessee potentially got pretty messy when paying recruits, according to a source of his.
“You literally had bag men,” Patrick said on Jan. 19. “They put the cash in McDonald’s bags and handed it to the recruits. My source said they were so in your face with this; they weren’t even trying to hide it. And that’s where my source said: ‘Tennessee got sloppy. Georgia has gotten sloppy.'”
However, Patrick also gave some potential replacements for Pruitt.
“Here’s a name that was brought to my attention by somebody else. How about Jason Witten? Just a ‘what if Jason Witten as the next head coach,'” he said. “Throw that out there, whether it sticks or not, no idea. But that’s the information that I have with the Tennessee Volunteers.”
Well, that could be interesting. Witten wouldn’t have a ton of pressure on him. Tennessee hasn’t recorded 10 wins since 2007 and has had a losing record in three of the last four seasons. He is also already a Volunteers legend, so the school may have some more leniency with him, especially if he were to take over after these potential violations.
We don’t even know if Witten is 100% done playing football yet. If he is, though, he could have his next job lined up at Tennessee.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference