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Original NFL Insider Chris Mortensen announces his retirement from ESPN after 33 years. He reportedly officially left the network in April, shortly after the 2023 NFL draft.

“Excited about another season but it’s time to reveal after my 33rd NFL draft in April, I made a decision to step away from ESPN and focus on my health, family and faith. The gratitude and humility is overwhelming. It’s not a classic retirement. I’ll still be here talking ball. It’s just time. God Bless you all,” he tweeted.

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Mortensen, 71, first joined ESPN in 1991. He career has seen major success including two Pulitzer Prize nominations, Georgetown Lombardi Award from the NFL Players Association, and has paved the way for a multitude of sports reporters.

“Best of the best,” ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on X (Twitter), “What an honor it’s been to spend time with Mort and learn from him. A true titan in this industry and an inspiration in every aspect of his remarkable life and career.”

Mortensen has battled esophageal cancer since 2016. His diagnosis and the fight against it forced him to miss Super Bowl 50 (February 2016) — the only Super Bowl Mortensen hasn’t covered since 1985, according to ESPN. Before the start of his reporting career began at the Daily Breeze in 1969, he spent two years in the Army during the Vietnam War.

Mortensen will be missed by many, but hints that he will still be “talking ball” in his retirement.

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