In probably the most shocking moment of the 2020 NFL free agency period so far, Jason Witten has left the Dallas Cowboys.
Jason Witten leaving Dallas Cowboys
If there is anyone that could take the name “Mr. Dallas Cowboys” in recent years, it was Jason Witten.
However, in 2020, ESPN reports that Witten will now be wearing silver and black and taking a role with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Jason Witten in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft and he became one of their most beloved players.
Witten is an 11-time Pro Bowl tight end who is one of the best to ever play the game.
In 16 seasons, Witten has caught 1,215 passes for 12,977 yards and 72 touchdowns. He retired before the 2018 NFL season but returned one year later to the Cowboys.
To put this in perspective, Witten, a tight end, ranks fourth all-time for receptions, 19th all-time for receiving yards, and 40th all-time in receiving touchdowns — for all players, including wide receivers.
The only players in NFL history to catch more passes than Jason Witten are Tony Gonzalez, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jerry Rice.
Witten is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in years played for the team (16), games played (255), games started (244), receptions, and receiving yards. Dez Bryant holds the Cowboys record for touchdown receptions.
Witten spoke with new head coach Mike McCarthy about joining the Cowboys coaching staff but when he didn’t get the chance to coach tight ends, those talks ended.
Now, Witten will take his talents to the Las Vegas Raiders.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) March 17, 2020
Jason Witten and the Raiders
This moment is shocking because Jerry Jones said that he never wanted to see Witten wearing any other uniform than a Dallas Cowboys uniform.
With that said, the Cowboys signed tight end Blake Jarvin to a four-year deal worth $24.24 million on Monday and Witten might have decided to move on.
According to reports, Witten will sign a one-year deal worth up to $4.75 million with the Raiders.
In 2019, Witten returned to the Cowboys and caught 63 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
Tight end Darren Waller was the Raiders’ leading receiver in 2019, with 90 receptions for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. No other Raiders’ receiver had over 50 receptions.
The most surprising thing about Witten choosing to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders is that they also signed Waller to a multiyear contract extension, worth about $9 million a season.
"I'm gonna give you all I got."
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 17, 2019
Witten will be no more than a backup for the Raiders in 2020.