The San Francisco 49ers and George Kittle are nowhere near reaching an agreement
If you’re a great team like the San Francisco 49ers with a plethora of talent on the roster, there’s only so much money to go around to try and retain everyone. We’ve seen that after the team traded defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts to pay defensive end Arik Armstead. The one star player that’s still in need of a new deal is tight end George Kittle.
After their Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, reports indicated that the 49ers front office would prioritize working on a contract extension with Kittle. We’re six months since those reports came out, and there’s been little to no progress made.
Kittle’s agent, Jack Bechta, told NFL Media’s Mike Silver that there’s been minimal progress in between both parties due to disagreements in the contract structure, guarantees and up-front money.
The clock is ticking for 49ers to sign Kittle
Things got more interesting outside of the above tweet. Silver said that the 49ers want to make him the highest paid tight end in the league, but Kittle’s party says he doesn’t want to be treated like a tight end, because he was voted the seventh-best player in the entire NFL by his colleagues. So, he wants to be paid as such.
As of this writing, Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers has the highest annual salary of any tight end in the league with $10.6 million. That’s higher than Travis Kelce of the Chiefs ($9.4 million) and Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles ($9 million). If Kittle wants to be paid like one of the best players in the entire NFL, that will blow these annual salaries out of the water.
In the past two seasons, Kittle has posted 173 receptions for 2,430 receiving yards and ten touchdowns, which earned him a spot on the Pro Bowl in each year.
The 49ers might need to speed up the process in signing Kittle to an extension, considering they begin padded practices next week. To do that, general manager John Lynch needs to find common ground with his star tight end and put pen to paper.