Longtime ESPN reporter, NFL insider Chris Mortensen reveals he has retired from TV network

Longtime ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, an original NFL "insider," revealed on social media Tuesday that he stepped away from his job at the network shortly following the 2023 NFL draft in April.

"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," Mortensen wrote. "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."

Mortensen was a senior NFL reporter at ESPN for 33 years and regularly appeared on programming such as "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "SportsCenter." He began his journalism career with the South Bay Daily Breeze (California) in 1969 and won multiple awards for his reporting (George Polk Award, 1987; two Pulitzer Prize nominations; National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting, 1978). Mortensen also received the prestigious Professional Football Writers of America's Dick McCann Award in 2016.

Chris Mortensen emcees the Super Bowl Breakfast at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.
Chris Mortensen emcees the Super Bowl Breakfast at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.

Before there was "Schefty," as in ESPN insider Adam Schefter, there was "Mort." Mortensen helped pioneer the role of a news breaker who contributed to multiple broadcasts and platforms with both reporting and analysis.

"All will miss your presence, your humor and your incredibly detailed reporting," fellow veteran NFL reporter Ed Werder posted on social media. "Few will miss you more than I will for your advice, wisdom and friendship. Nobody has meant more to me than you."

In January 2016, Mortensen announced his diagnosis of Stage 4 throat cancer, causing him to miss that year's Super Bowl. While undergoing treatment, he continued to provide reporting on the league's offseason happenings, including the retirement of Peyton Manning.

His son, Alex Mortensen, was a quarterback at the college level for Arkansas and Samford. The younger Mortensen is now the offensive coordinator at UAB.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chris Mortensen, longtime ESPN NFL insider, retires after 33 years