49ers General Manager John Lynch hopped on with Murph and Mac on Tuesday morning, giving his first public comments since the draft in April.
Lynch touched on a number of topics, ranging from the Raheem Mostert contract dispute to the team’s interest in Jamal Adams. The biggest topic of the offseason, however, is George Kittle’s contract situation, and why the 49ers haven’t inked an extension for a player who is set to become a free agent in 2021.
Lynch blamed the lack of progress on the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining that it’s hard to negotiate long-term contracts when the future of the salary cap is up in the air. Lynch says that Kittle should be at the 49ers facility this week for the start of camp.
“George is planning on coming,” Lynch said. “We’ve exchanged ideas. As this pandemic has hit, it’s caused a lot of economic uncertainty….with the cap possibly going down as low as $175 million on a cap that was anticipated at being at $220 million. That’s a big adjustment. We were waiting for some of that certainty to guide us in how we structure a deal.
“Now we’ve had that information come in, so we’ve traded ideas and things. We’re really hopeful. We’re going to work extremely hard. George is such a great fit for what we do. He’s a tremendous player. Looking at our vision statement for what we want in a player, George checks every box. He’s tremendous and he’s what we want to be.”
Lynch reiterated that it is the team’s intention to sign Kittle to an extension, rather than let the tight end hit free agency. The top of the TE market is currently around $10 million annually (Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper make just over that mark) and it has been reported that Kittle’s new deal will likely fall into the $13-15 million range.
“I think it’d be silly not to figure that out. We’re going to do our best to do just that. As for a timetable I don’t have that. George is a pro and he’s planning on coming and we’re going to continue to work to get that done.
“He intends on being here.”
Listen to the full interview below.