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“Mort was the best in the business” – Tributes Pour In As NFL Community Mourns The Passing Of Veteran Reporter Chris Mortensen

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Chris Mortensen, an award-winning veteran NFL reporter, has passed away at the age of 72.

ESPN reported the death of Award-winning journalist Chris Mortensen on March 3rd, Sunday morning. He covered the NFL for close to four decades, including 32 as a senior analyst at ESPN. The exact cause of his death has not been revealed. He was 72 and stated in 2016 that he had been suffering from throat cancer. Even while undergoing treatment, he was the first to announce the retirement of Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. He took a leave of absence, but later that year announced that nearly all the cancer had been removed after months of successful therapy.

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After the NFL draft last year, Mortensen announced his retirement so that he could “focus on my health, family and faith.” “He was widely acknowledged as an industry pioneer and generally beloved as a helpful, industrious teammate,” ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro stated, “He covered the NFL with exceptional skill and passion and was at the top of his business for decades. He will be much missed by colleagues and admirers, and our hearts and condolences are with his family.”

A look back at Chris Mortensen’s career

In 1991 Chris first began working at ESPN and contributed for years to the network’s coverage of the NFL’s explosion into year-round programming. In addition to writing for, he made numerous network television appearances and was also an NFL contributor to Sport magazine and columnist at The Sporting News. Previously, he worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1983 to 1989 and The National. He covered the Atlanta Falcons from 1985-86 and from 1985 to 1989, he covered the league. In 1989, he joined The National, where he worked for more than two years.

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“I respected Chris for working so hard to become one of the most influential and revered sports reporters. He won our and many others’ esteem not only for his dogged pursuit of news but also for the generosity he offered to everyone he met,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned. “He will be greatly missed by many of us in the league who were fortunate to know him well beyond the stories he broke each Sunday.”

Last year, Chris covered the 33rd NFL Draft for ESPN before retiring. In 2016, he received the Dick McCann Award from the Professional Football Writers of America. It was renamed to the Bill Nunn Jr. Award in 2021 and is presented yearly during the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies to the reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution through their coverage of the game.

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Adam Schefter, who worked alongside Mortensen for years, was among those who paid tribute to the veteran reporter.

“An absolutely devastating day. Mort was one of the greatest reporters in sports history, and an even better man. Sincerest condolences to his family, and all who knew and loved him. So many did. Mort was the very best. He will be forever missed and remembered,” wrote Schefter.

Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning paid tribute to Mortensen on Instagram.

“Heartbroken. We lost a true legend. Mort was the best in the business and I cherished our friendship. I trusted him with my announcement to sign with the Broncos and with the news of my retirement. I will miss him dearly and my thoughts and prayers are with Micki & his family. Rest in peace, Mort,” wrote Manning.

“Legend💔🙏.. RIP Mort – Love and strength to your friends and family” Zach Klein wrote on X.

Carlos Gil added, “Getting old sucks 😢 In the past few years, we’ve had to say goodbye to John Clayton and Chris Mortensen, two of my favorite NFL reporters at ESPN.”

“He was a wonderful and pious man. A great reporter. A trailblazing insider. And he will be missed,” Jay Lampert commented.

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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