Jason Witten’s second and doubtless final retirement hit the information cable on Wednesday. I didn’t get to understand it for a superb ten hours. Nobody texted me, emailed me or referred to as me on Twitter for Witten speak or response. I assume a part of that is about how strange Witten’s final two years have been, however it additionally strikes me that Witten was in all probability underrated a variety of his profession.
And I really feel a little bit melancholy about it.
Some NFL and fantasy followers of a sure age will largely keep in mind the top of Witten’s profession and what occurred lately – the dad jokes, the catch-and-fall feedback, his awkward and quick assembly on Monday night time soccer. If you happen to didn’t see Witten’s complete profession, you missed one thing particular, despite the fact that his story was largely about seamless manufacturing and reliability, versus lightning and spark.
For the reason that merger, there have solely been 60 seasons at 940 or extra receiving yards. Witten bagged seven of them. Witten’s 110 catches in 2012 are second most amongst slim ends (Zach Ertz bought 116 in 2018). Witten was a top-5 fantasy tight-end 5 instances (twice within the high spot) and contained in the TE1 cutline (high 12) in 13 totally different seasons. He didn’t produce a lot throughout his debut 12 months in 2003, and he hardly produced his final 12 months, 2020. If you happen to performed Witten any of his 15 years in between, you bought the cash.
Solely 4 gamers in NFL historical past have video games with 18 or extra catches on their resume (Brandon Marshall did it twice). Witten is the one tight finish on the listing and throws 18 grips for 167 yards on the Giants again in 2012.
Witten was twice All-Professional and 11 instances Professional Bowler. CV – crammed with a powerful high together with the outstanding consistency – speaks for itself. However once I suppose again to what was outstanding about Witten, I come again to a easy however astonishing reality.
Witten broke his jaw throughout his rookie years. Surgical procedure was required, and he wanted to shut his jaws. Nasty stuff, needed to eat via a straw, that type of factor. Nonetheless, Witten missed only one recreation – inspiring reward from his head coach, Invoice Parcells. (And the old fashioned Parcells was the type of coach who can hand out three compliments in a 12 months.)
Witten by no means missed one other recreation throughout his 17-year profession. His profession schedule required 272 common season video games; he taken care of them. All this in a collision place, a bodily demanding job that requires a number of physique crashes each Sunday. Once we consider sustainability in sports activities, we rush over legends like Cal Ripken or Brett Favre. Witten belongs in that dialog, someplace.
I’ve realized through the fantasy years to by no means make assumptions in the long run. However I tip my cap to Jason Witten, a reminder that each good rule has outstanding exceptions.
Hearken to Yahoo Fantasy Soccer Forecast
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