From Giants-killer to Giants-thriller?
Tight end Jason Witten is interested in following his former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett across rivalry lines and joining the Giants, according to an ESPN report citing sources.
Witten retired after the 2017 season but came back to the field after a year in the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. He is a free agent who has not committed to playing in 2020, but if he does, it apparently doesn’t have to be in the only uniform he has worn since entering the league in 2003.
Witten considered getting into coaching but Mike McCarthy, who replaced Garrett, filled his staff’s on-field positions. Garrett was hired as Giants offensive coordinator on Friday.
“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,” Chris Mortensen said via Twitter. “That said, nothing close to being settled on future.”
Free agents can’t sign with new teams until March 18, anyway. That’s a long window of exclusive negotiating rights for the Cowboys.
Witten, 37, has more catches (165) and touchdowns (16) against the Giants than any other opponent, and he has 1,641 receiving yards in 32 games. His best game in 2019 was against the Giants – but that could be said for a lot of offensive players around the league.
Witten finished with 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 2019.
Giants tight end Evan Engram is expected to be sidelined until training camp after successful foot surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury. The former first-round pick has been a dynamic weapon when healthy but has missed 13 of 32 games the last two seasons, and the Giants must decide by this May whether to pick up his non-guaranteed fifth-year rookie contract option for 2021.
Veteran backup Rhett Ellison is likely going to be a salary-cap casualty — $5 million in savings and $2.18 million in dead money — and Kaden Smith is coming off a promising rookie season. He looked ready to slide into the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
How would Engram react to a future Hall of Famer maybe taking away some snaps or joining him in two-tight end formations?
“You have those pioneers [like Witten] who changed the way the game is played,” Engram told The Post earlier this season. “I have to be appreciative because now the tight end position is looked at as a weapon, as a mismatch.”
“Any time you are on the field playing with or against a guy who has set the standard at your position and is a Hall of Famer, you have to take advantage of seeing that any way you can.”
Witten’s agent did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.