NFL notebook: TE Witten returns to Cowboys
Jason Witten agreed to a contract Thursday to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys for the 2019 season, the team announced.
Witten, 36, made a surprise retirement announcement last spring and joined ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” booth for the 2018 season. But the tight end, who is ranked fourth all-time in receptions, has decided to return to Dallas for a 16th NFL season.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Witten has agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported via Twitter that the deal could be worth $5 million with incentives.
–Former Oklahoma star quarterback Kyler Murray already has exceeded expectations at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, measuring a bit over 5-feet-10 and weighing 207 pounds.
Murray officially was listed at 5-10 at Oklahoma, but most expected him to come in slightly below that. Instead, he measured an eighth of an inch over 5-10. Likewise, his weight of 207 was 12 pounds over his listed weight with the Sooners, easing concerns about his frame being too slight to hold up to the punishment of the NFL.
–Known for his preparation, Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams was clearly ready for the barrage of questions about his 33 5/8-inch arms at the 2019 combine.
“It’s a small portion of what it takes to be a tackle at the next level,” Williams said of arm length. “I think I’m proud of the way I play. My approach to the game is what makes me a great player.”
–Signing Kareem Hunt was all about knowing his heart, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said. The running back was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs last season after being seen on video kicking and pushing a woman.
“We had done our research,” said Dorsey, who noted that the league was still reviewing Hunt’s status. “We thought at the appropriate time with all the information we did have, how truly remorseful he was and … knowing when he comes here there are no guarantees, he’s going to earn your respect with his actions. Right now, I feel very comfortable with the signing.”
–Disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown said recent comments from Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed that the team doesn’t respect its players.
In an interview with ESPN, which will air over the weekend, Brown said he isn’t “angry” with the Steelers but still wants to move on from the franchise.
Last week, Colbert told reporters that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger “has 52 kids under him, quite honestly” and wanted players to look to the veteran QB for guidance and advice. Later, Colbert seemed to step back from those comments.
–The Los Angeles Rams are taking a wait-and-see approach with free agents Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler Jr., but they hope to bring both back, coach Sean McVay said.
General manager Les Snead added that there’s “a good possibility” most of the team’s free agents will test the market, though that won’t preclude the Rams from bringing anyone back.
–New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft pleaded not guilty to solicitation of prostitution charges in Florida and is requesting a non-jury trial, according to court records.
Kraft is charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla.
–Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is expected to be ready for the 2019 season after undergoing shoulder and knee surgeries, coach Pete Carroll said.
Baldwin, 30, missed two games in September with the knee injury, which bothered him even before the start of the season. His shoulder problem arose later in the campaign.
–New Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Jim Turner, a central figure of the bullying scandal in Miami more than five years ago, said he has “to be smarter” in the way he motivates players.
“Unfortunately, some of the things that I said and some of the things I did with my players had to come out. And so, moving forward, I just have to be smarter about what I do when I try to use entertainment to motivate the players,” said Turner, who was fired by the Dolphins following the 2013 season.
–Running back Bryce Love, a draft prospect, expects to be back on the football field in August.
Love is recovering from a torn ACL. He returned to Stanford for his senior season in 2018 rather than entering last year’s draft. Love had 2,118 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns as a junior in 2017, when he finished runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting to Baker Mayfield.
–Free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was in custody in Denver on charges stemming from a single-car crash earlier this month, according to multiple reports. Thomas was being held for investigation of vehicular assault, reckless driving and driving without insurance.
–A complaint has been filed against former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy with the Wisconsin high school sports regulatory body over what was termed his “unacceptable” behavior toward high school basketball officials earlier this week.
–The New York Jets are giving wide receiver Robby Anderson a second-round level restricted free agent tender, keeping him in the fold for another season, according to multiple reports.
–Field Level Media