The long-anticipated extension for 49ers tight end George Kittle is all but complete, as news broke it was finalizing on Thursday.
Well, almost. But San Francisco 49ers fans need not worry about the possibility 2019 first-team All-Pro tight end George Kittle could leave the Niners once the final year of his rookie deal expires at the end of the 2020 season.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver, Kittle and the 49ers reached an agreement on a five-year, $75 million extension.
NBC Sports Bay Area Matt Maiocco also confirmed the deal with Kittle’s agent, Jack Bechta, which includes $30 million guaranteed up front and $40 million guaranteed in total.
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn initially reported a deal was close to being finalized Wednesday afternoon, although Kittle seemed to shoot down the rumor in a tweet shortly thereafter. Cohn reported it was a six-year deal to be announced on Friday, so perhaps those are the minor details Kittle was refuting.
Either way, few among San Francisco’s fanbase would complain.
Kittle will now be under contract through the 2025 season after already putting together what’s looking to be a Hall of Fame résumé. During his rookie season, Kittle recorded 570 yards which made him the first tight end in the modern NFL era, drafted in Round 5 or later, to reach that feat. He then set the single-season record for most receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 (1,377) before setting yet another record for most receiving yards by a tight end over his first three seasons in the league (2,945).
Additionally, Pro Football Focus voted him the 2019 Dwight Stevenson Award winner, given to PFF’s top player of the year, and Kittle was recently named the No. 7 overall player in the league entering 2020, as voted on by his peers in the NFL 100 list.
Needless to say, San Francisco keeping a cornerstone piece around, a generational talent, was of the utmost importance.
There are likely to be some complications and obstacles the 49ers face with Kittle now commanding a sizable chunk of the team’s salary cap space in the coming seasons. Yet Kittle’s overall importance to the team can’t be understated.
And it’s only good Kittle and the Niners were able to get this deal done.