Targeting personnel from his previous employer, Garrett could lure longtime Cowboys tight end Jason Witten to the Big Apple, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday.
Mortensen didn’t specify the role in which Witten, who turns 38 in May, would have with the Giants. But his sources say the 11-time Pro Bowler “hasn’t ruled out” playing in 2020, nor has he ruled out a reunion with Garrett, who accepted New York’s OC position on Friday.
Mortensen added that new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy did not offer Witten a spot on his staff — a possible precursor to changing divisional hats.
“Witten could bring a veteran presence to a young locker room like @Giants , familiarity with Garrett’s offense and a support role to some promising young tight ends,” Mortensen tweeted. “That said, nothing close to being settled on future.”
It would be ironic if Witten became the Giants’ tight ends coach since Dallas recently poached Lunda Wells from Big Blue to serve in the same capacity.
As a player, he’d slot in behind rising star Evan Engram, mentoring a young room that includes second-year man Kaden Smith and 27-year-old Scott Simonson.
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McCarthy Discusses Witten’s Future, Coaching Gig
As McCarthy made his rounds through The Star, the new Cowboys HC ran into an old face: Witten, whose NFL future remains entirely up in the air. The two shared a private talk from which McCarthy came away understanding Witten’s plight.
“I had a great conversation with Jason and he’s got a number of things he’s thinking about,” McCarthy said Thursday, via the team’s official website. “I think that’s what he’s working through right now.”
The latest “speculation,” per the Cowboys’ in-house media arm, points to the graybeard tight end retiring again — permanently. But no decision has been made as he mulls his options, highlighted by a potential foray into coaching.
Speaking last month, Witten, who’s spent 43 percent of his mortal life as a professional tight end, and 100 percent of his big-league tenure with the Cowboys, admitted that he may be approaching his final game in Dallas but not necessarily the last game of his illustrious career.
“Sure, it’s a possibility,” Witten said on Dec. 26, per ESPN.com. “I’m aware of that, but really, one of the things when I came back to play I was committed to going out there and playing every game and opportunity. So fortunate to do it. There will be time to make that decision, but I do not envision this being my last game.”
Witten is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year, $4.25 million contract during the 2019 offseason, ending his retirement and brief (albeit mostly disastrous) stint as a commenter for Monday Night Football. He said last month he’ll be “pretty quick” about announcing his next chapter.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has effusively endorsed Witten and veteran linebacker Sean Lee — two of the league’s smartest players — as future headset-wearers. And McCarthy didn’t outright dismiss the notion of adding either Witten or Lee to his staff.
“Conversations for the future,” McCarthy said.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL