If you were expecting the 49ers and George Kittle to agree on an extension in the next few days stop holding your breath.
According to longtime NFL reporter Mike Silver, the two sides are not close on extending Kittle’s contract which expires at the end of 2020. What’s more, Kittle is not interested in a “tight-end” deal, but rather is negotiating as if he is a top wide receiver according to his agent.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) May 29, 2020
On a per year basis, the two highest paid tight ends in the NFL are Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper at $10 million per year. That has been about what the top end of the TE market has looked like for years, ever since Jimmy Graham’s four-year, $40 million deal in 2014. Kittle’s value as the team’s best receiver and one of the best blockers at his position would seem to exceed that figure.
The top end of the WR market is about double that, with the likes of Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Michael Thomas and others all making around $20 million per year. It’s possible that the two sides will agree on splitting the difference, but when that happens is anybody’s guess.
Kittle caught 85 passes for 1053 yards and five touchdowns last season in 14 games. His 75.2 yards per game was second best among tight ends last season.