49ers: Analyzing George Kittle’s value following contract extension

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, 49ers
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The 49ers re-signed star tight end George Kittle to a monster extension. Niner Noise takes a look at whether the deal truly accounts for his impact.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was massively underpaid.

With his current salary of $2.2 million, escalated because of his record-breaking performance in the last two years, Kittle made less than either of the two first-round picks the Niners selected this year, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Without question, Kittle deserved a new contract.

And the 49ers took care of him in record-breaking style, inking Kittle to a five-year, $75 million extension that will keep the league’s best tight end with the Niners for the foreseeable future, despite the potential issues it may cause with the salary cap. The AAV (average annual value) of the contract at $15 million blows past the previous contracts for tight ends.

However, for Kittle, that was to be expected.

After all, Kittle’s contributions for San Francisco have been extraordinary. From breaking the single-season tight end receiving record to the nearly 2.0 YPC (yards per carry) drop in the rushing game when he left the field, Kittle has transcended the expected of a tight end. He’s that good.

In fact, Kittle’s agent reportedly told Michael Silver of NFL Network (h/t Bleacher Report) he doesn’t “care about the tight end market. [He’s] being paid to do a George Kittle deal.”

With such a drastic increase from his peers, it seems ridiculous to say Kittle’s current contract may not adequately compensate him for his abilities. But that may very well be the case. So to find out if the 49ers might have somehow gotten a steal here, we need to compare Kittle to players who best demonstrate his abilities.