George Kittle’s extension with the 49ers should calm the fans somewhat.
The deal was made with pretty much no difficulties or delay (relative to the type of big contract that was being negotiated) between team and player.
As is always the case with an extension is being publicly commented and debated upon with a star player, fans were losing their heads a fraction.
This isn’t surprising of course, the internet and social media is an open forum for a wide variety of opinion on anything including sport, so there’s bound to be people with opinions that gravitate towards the unusual.
But now that training camp has begun, the biggest distraction facing the Niners has been erased.
With San Francisco’s promising receiving corps battling through injuries, Kittle is expected to once again shoulder the load as the best receiving weapon the team has to offer.
Kittle also maintains and ensures the continuity that will be so important in any games being played this season, as he continues to be the clutch target for the 49ers that can be relied upon.
The extension of Kittle is important beyond merely keeping him with the team for the foreseeable future. This season promises to be the most difficult season ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with it carries a situation where the team that wins the Super Bowl would be not only the best team on the field, but the team that can work through the distractions that come with such a challenging series of circumstances.
For the 49ers, the extension of Kittle was its biggest distraction aside from the brief period of time where starting running back Raheem Mostert asked for a trade after failing to be made the highest-paid running back on the team, a situation soon defused by San Francisco.
Locking him in before the season start takes that away and allows the team to focus on building chemistry.
Luckily this should be relatively easy, given the high retention rate of starters from 2019 and bringing in players who know the offense of head coach Kyle Shanahan in offensive tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jordan Reed.
The 49ers are now in training camp, and has a clear path ahead free of significant distraction to make a run at the Super Bowl in the most unusual season ever.
If they play to their potential, they can go one better than last season and finally get that elusive sixth Super Bowl championship.