Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesJason Witten is planning to retire after 15 years in the NFL Pat Valaika Colorado Rockies Jersey , according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, "to join ESPN's new Monday Night Football broadcast team as a lead analyst."Clarence Hill Jr. of the聽Fort Worth Star-Telegram聽reported the Dallas Cowboys were not expecting Witten to retire.聽Team owner Jerry Jones said he met with Witten on Friday and the decision hasn't been finalized at this time, per Brandon George of the聽Dallas Morning News:"I've talked to Jason Witten several times this week, met with him a few hours ago and we've had great discussions. He has some things to think about and discuss with his family and he'll need a few more days of consideration. No final decision made on retirement."Witten's $4.7 million contract bonus wasn't paid to him prior to retiring, per Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan.After the Cowboys selected him in the third round of the 2003 draft, Witten became one of the most consistent tight ends in the league. He was named to 11 Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2007 and 2010.Witten retires having set Cowboys franchise records in receptions (1,152)聽and receiving yards (12,448). He's also one of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history. According to Pro Football Reference, only Tony Gonzalez has more receptions and yards, while Witten's 68 touchdowns put him at sixth-best for聽the position.There's no questioning Witten's production over his career, but he was showing clear signs of a decline in recent seasons.聽He hadn't cracked 1,000 yards receiving since 2012 http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tyquan-lewis-jersey , and his 560 receiving yards in 2017 marked his lowest total since his rookie year.Bleacher Report's聽Marcus Mosher聽questioned whether Witten's lack of explosiveness was hurting the offense as a whole:"Witten is averaging just nine yards per reception this season. That's down nearly a full yard from 2016 and nearly two full yards from his career average of 10.8. Teams are playing more man-to-man coverage against Dallas and daring Witten to beat them. At this point in his career, it's just not something he can do consistently."This decline should have been expected, and in fact, the Cowboys are fortunate that it didn't come sooner. Witten can still contribute as a blocker and as a reliable receiver in certain situations, but Dallas needs to find a different way to beat man coverage in the middle of the field in 2018. Unfortunately, the answer likely won't contain No. 82."Still, Witten's departure will leave a void in the passing game. He hasn't missed a game since his rookie year, so the Cowboys haven't had to give much thought to the tight end position for over a decade. Because of that, Dallas may have to look outside the team for Witten's replacement.James Hanna announced his retirement earlier in April, and Geoff Swaim has not emerged as a solid pass-catcher. Undrafted free agent Blake Jarwin saw only a limited role in his first season.The 2018 draft may be Dallas' best bet to find a long-term successor to Witten.聽Mark Andrews, Mike Gesicki and Dallas Goedert are among the top tight ends remaining in this year's draft class, and any one would be a solid addition for the Cowboys offense.For Witten Cheap Thomas Rawls Jersey , he should start getting his Hall of Fame speech ready. As one of the best tight ends of his era, the 35-year-old is a look for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. LeBron James used to downplay winning division titles.
Not this time. Not after what these Cleveland Cavaliers have been through this season.
This one is worth appreciating.
”I’ve kind of like been a hypocrite of that because I’m always moving and trying to figure out how we can be better the next day or whatever the case,” James said. ”So it’s always hard for me to be like, OK, another division crown after everything that’s gone on with our team and our ballclub this year, but it’s a pretty cool thing.”
James had 26 points and 11 assists, Kevin Love scored 28 points, and the Cavaliers got their 50th win along with that Central Division title by beating the New York Knicks 123-109 on Monday night.
The Cavs reached 50 wins for the fourth time in four seasons since James returned from Miami and the 11th time in franchise history. James has won a record 10 straight division titles in Cleveland and Miami.
Cleveland pulled within a half-game of Philadelphia for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, bouncing back from its loss to the 76ers on Friday and winning for the sixth time in seven games.
A division title and 50 wins would have been considered shoo-ins for the Cavs before the season, but after injuries, trades and a leave of absence for coach Tyronn Lue Daniel Castro Colorado Rockies Jersey , nothing seemed certain.
”It’s been it feels like a number of seasons within the season, but it’s also gone by pretty fast,” Love said. ”I know I was injured for a number of games, but it still feels like it was a little bit of a blur, so we got one more left at home and as we always say the real things starts.”
J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson added 16 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who made 19 3-pointers and won for the ninth straight time at Madison Square Garden.
Wearing black sneakers that read ”I’m” on the left shoe and ”King” on the right, James also had six rebounds and a few of his usual powerful dunks, including one where he broke in with a head of speed and Michael Beasley appeared in position to stop him before seeking safety and running by him out of the way .
Beasley scored 20 points for the Knicks in their final home game of the season, which opened a home-and-home series. Rookie Frank Ntilikina added a career-high 17 and Courtney Lee also had 17.
”I feel like I’m getting better,” Ntilikina said. ”I’m feeling more comfortable.”
The Knicks remained without injured starters Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter.
The Cavs led by only six with under 4 minutes left, but James found Love for a basket, then followed Clarkson’s two 3-pointers with one of his own to put away the game.
”They’re a great team http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jk-scott-jersey , and when LeBron’s out there it makes it very difficult on guys. You can’t guard him one-on-one,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. ”But, our guys didn’t quit, so it was good.”
Cavaliers: Cleveland nearly had its whole roster available, but Rodney Hood was ruled out with a sore left Achilles tendon. Guards George Hill (sprained left ankle) and Jose Calderon (sore left hamstring) both returned. … James can play in 82 games for the first time in his career if he plays Wednesday instead of resting for the playoffs, and that’s the way he’s leaning. ”I’m healthy, so I’m playing,” he said.
Knicks: Hornacek said Hardaway and Kanter most likely wouldn’t play Wednesday, but didn’t rule it out. … Hardaway was called for a technical foul at the end of the first half.
Masters champion Patrick Reed was seated courtside, wearing his green jacket. Love and actor Chris Rock were among those to greet him.
COURTING THE KING
James said Monday morning he hadn’t seen the billboard that went up near MSG urging him to play for the Knicks next season, though he was aware of it. Similar billboards had already gone up in Los Angeles, Philadelphia Christian Yelich Jersey , Portland and his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
”Same reaction as I had to every last one of them this year,” he said of the newest entry. ”I think it’s very humbling that cities and organizations want me to play for them, especially at this juncture of my career, so that’s it.”
The Knicks will try to win in Cleveland for the second time this season, after a 114-95 victory on Oct. 29.
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