The 49ers need to get tight end George Kittle under contract beyond 2020, but he’s not the only priority heading into the upcoming year.
Kittle, the two-time Pro Bowler who has set more than a handful of records during his three-year career, is entering a contract year in 2020. And while he’s set to earn $2.2 million this season, the average annual value of his rookie contract is exceeded not only by his play on the field, but also by more than just a couple of tight ends also on the Niners roster:
- Charlie Woerner — $869,008
- Chase Harrell — $764,333
- Ross Dwelley — $750,000
- George Kittle — $674,574
- Daniel Helm — $540,000
It shouldn’t be a surprise Kittle will reset the tight end market, potentially making anything north of $13 million per year on an extension. The hope is, of course, it comes sooner than later. But with COVID-19 potentially hindering the league’s salary cap, paired with the fact San Francisco is no longer bathing in lucrative amounts of cap space, Kittle’s deal isn’t as imminent as it might seem.
According to Over the Cap, the 49ers are projected to have $44,862,766 in cap space for 2021. This doesn’t include a long list of pending free agents potentially re-signing, nor does it include the roughly $8 million needed to ink the team’s rookie class a year from now. It also doesn’t account for a potential decrease in the cap, too.
As such, prioritizing which players general manager John Lynch and Co. should extend is a must. It won’t be easy.
After Kittle, which players on San Francisco’s roster should see extensions sooner than later?
Let’s take a look.