Longtime NFL reporter Chris Mortensen said Tuesday that he has retired from ESPN.
"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 tweeted. "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, 71, was a newspaper journalist before joining ESPN in 1991, where he regularly appeared on "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "SportsCenter" and contributed the network's Super Bowl and NFL draft coverage. In January 2016, he announced he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.
Mortensen received the Dick McCann Award from Professional Football Writers of America in 2016. Even as he was away from work while battling cancer, Mortensen broke the news in March of that year that Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning would retire after 18 NFL seasons.
Tributes for Mortensen poured in across social media.
"Best of the best," tweeted Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN's NBA insider. "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."
—Field Level Media