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Sports world mourns death of ESPN insider Chris Mortensen

Chris Mortensen’s colleagues and peers took to social media to commemorate his life and pay their respects following his death at the age of 72.
The longtime NFL insider died Sunday morning, his family announced, per his longtime professional home at ESPN.
On the NFL Network, Rich Eisen and Daniel Jeremiah tearfully celebrated Mortensen while broadcasting the NFL combine on Sunday afternoon.
“I met Chris Mortensen when I was 26 years old, when [Mortensen] was the GOAT (Greatest Of All-TIme) in the making for the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN,” Eisen recalled. “One of the best football reporters we’ve ever known.”
Chris Mortensen passed away on Sunday morning, his family announced. Getty Images
Jeremiah added, while fighting tears, “He’s my mentor. He’s one of my best friends… he’s a sweet, sweet person with a sweet family, and that’s who I’m thinking about right now.”
Mortensen took a leave of absence from ESPN in 2016 after being diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer and left the Worldwide Leader in September 2023.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and ESPN colleague Peyton Manning posted a tribute to Mortensen on Instagram.
“Heartbroken. We lost a true legend,” Manning wrote. “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.”
Mortensen worked very closely with fellow NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who also took to X.
“An absolutely devastating day,” posted Schefter. “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.”
Ian Rappaport, an Insider for the NFL Network, referred to Mort as one of his “idols growing up.”
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen died at the age of 72 on Sunday. Getty Images
He added, “His contributions to our world will never be matched.”
Longtime Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer posted his own tribute.
“Mort… I will ALWAYS love and appreciate everything I learned from you, all our battles, all our talks, but the most cherished voice mail I ever got, which I will save forever, came from this man about being of service!” he said. “I love you brother and can’t wait for you to drop alllll sorts of scoopage in heaven.”
The recently retired Peter King, an NFL reporter for more than over 40 years, added on Mort, “A giant in our business, and a terrific person. Will miss you, Mort.”

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