San Francisco 49ers: 3 ramifications of George Kittle extension

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Nick Bosa, 49ers, Ohio State
Nick Bosa of Ohio State chosen by the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Much more pressure for 49ers to hit on NFL Draft picks

The Niners are banking on the salary cap increasing significantly beyond 2021, which is just as big a possibility as it remaining stagnant for the next few years. After all, the team has to think about long-term deals down the road for cornerstone players like linebacker Fred Warner, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey and EDGE Nick Bosa.

One of the reasons San Francisco was so successful as of late, however, is because all those players are still on their respective rookie contracts. Kittle is, too, albeit only for the final year of his initial contract in 2020.

More from George Kittle

But each player listed signifies two key aspects. John Lynch succeeded with those picks, and all are essential pieces for the team’s overall success. That’s important, and it won’t change for the 49ers to continue grabbing and developing players well via the NFL Draft in coming seasons.

Yet one of the more important elements to note here is just how valuable those initial rookie contracts are. If the Niners were paying Kittle an annual premium of roughly $15 million per season, it’s not hard to play around with the numbers on other players to see who might have to go.

In addition to landing those rookie contracts for impact players, hitting on draft picks will be a must for Lynch and Co. because San Francisco won’t have as big an opportunity to land notable free-agent pickups in coming seasons. While it’s impossible to gauge what the market will look like, including salary caps beyond 2021, it’s safe to assume the 49ers are going to need to rely upon their draft selections.

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Not trading off picks or spending money on big-name free agents.