Future Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten has signed a four-year extension to remain with the team until 2021.
While the Dallas Cowboys seem perfectly willing to part ways with one longtime legend, they in turn sign another through the next decade. In an offseason dominated by headlines concerning the possible trade or release of the Cowboys 36-year old veteran quarterback Tony Romo, his favorite target gets a four-year extension.
On Tuesday, 34-year old tight end Jason Witten signed a contract extension that will keep him on America’s Team through 2021. According to the Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George, the deal is worth a max of $29.6 million. But the extension does not include any guaranteed monies.
And according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, Witten’s salary cap hit of $12.2 million for 2017 (Sportrac.com) remains unchanged by the new deal. The player many consider to be the best overall tight end in football had just one-year left on his current deal prior to the extension on Tuesday.
Update: According to the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore, Witten’s extension does help the Cowboys current salary cap situation.
"“The Cowboys were about $200,000 under the salary cap before Witten agreed to his new deal. This extension allows the club to reduce his $7.4 million base salary and carve out another $4 million in room for the 2017 season.” – David Moore, Dallas Morning News"
In a move that secures Witten for the foreseeable future, the Cowboys surely value the veteran’s presence on and off-the-field. And having a stabilizing force in the locker room signed to a long-term deal in the midst of so must roster turnover, including a probable Romo exodus, seems like a no-brainer.
Unlike Romo, who is two-years older, Witten is a rock when it comes to injuries. In fact, the 14-year veteran has missed only one game as a professional. And that was during his rookie season, way back in 2003.
Despite being one of the oldest players on the Cowboys current roster, Witten can still get the job done. Last season, he recorded 69 receptions for 673 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, Witten’s leadership, blocking ability and presence on the field surely help bolster quarterback Dak Prescott’s performance during a season that ended with him winning the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.