Jason Witten, “Gold Jacket Witt” as Ezekiel Elliott nicknamed him in 2016, will indeed be getting a gold jacket someday in Canton, OH at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We’re talking about a tight end who is the all-time leader in receptions (1,089), soon to be yards (he needs 17 more to pass Michael Irvin), and soon to be games played (he needs 2 more to pass Ed “Too Tall” Jones) in franchise history. Did I mention that we’re talking about a tight end here?! Jason Witten, in all his glory, has officially signed a four-year extension with the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has signed a four-year extension through 2021, according to league… https://t.co/S0pb1zwjLP
Drafted in the 3rd Round (69th Overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, Jason Witten has been making a name for himself while wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform since the beginning. He’s seen and been through all of the changes at both head coach and quarterback, seeing his fate end as far as the Divisional Round as many as three times (2007, 2014, and 2016).
The Cowboys enter the 2017 NFL Draft seemingly in need of an “heir apparent” to Jason Witten. Last year’s 6th Round selection Rico Gathers thinks that he may be up to that task, but Jason Witten signing a contract extension indicates that he’s not as near retirement as we all thought when last season ended.
Of course the Cowboys will still likely address the position of tight end in the draft as behind Witten they have Gathers, James Hanna coming off of injury, and Geoff Swaim (who was recently injured and will be out until Training Camp). Whatever the case it surely is some peace of mind for Dallas that Jason Witten plans on sticking around for a little bit longer.
Witten’s cap number in 2017 remains the same. No added guaranteed money in deal. Cowboys can restructure later to gain space.
The extension that Jason Witten just signed with the Cowboys seems like a move purely intentioned to allow him to finish his career with the Cowboys as opposed to one made to gain cap space. Witten’s cap number for 2017 is $12.2M (courtesy of OverTheCap.com) and his new extension does nothing to change that. Of course, the Cowboys can restructure and “kick the can down the road” with money as we’ve seen them do this season with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, but for now they’d be wise to sit.
Considering the what-looks-like-a-tumultuous end to the Tony Romo era in Dallas, the Cowboys are likely doing everything possible to ensure that Jason Witten’s exit from America’s Team is far more graceful. Maybe at some point it’ll also benefit them financially, but today all it’s about is keeping Jason Witten around the Dallas Cowboys longer. That’s something we can all get on board with.