Travis Kelce officially crowns George Kittle as 'best tight end' in the NFL

It's official. George Kittle is the NFL's best tight end, according to Travis Kelce.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (left), Fox Sports' Jay Glazer (center) and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (right)
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (left), Fox Sports' Jay Glazer (center) and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (right) / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

While fans debate who's better, George Kittle or Travis Kelce, it appears as if Kelce is willing to settle the argument right now.

If you've followed either the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs over the last six-plus years, you'll know there's a pretty lengthy debate about which tight end is the NFL's best right now.

And it'll come down to those teams' top selections: the Niners' George Kittle and KC's Travis Kelce.

Other names have been in the running here and there, of course. But neither has stayed atop the tight end leaderboards for as long as Kelce and Kittle. In fact, the two are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 for the all-time single-season receiving list by a tight end.

They also happen to be squaring off against each other when San Francisco and Kansas City meet in Super Bowl 58, a grudge match of the Super Bowl four years ago in which Kelce and the Chiefs won 31-20 over Kittle's 49ers.

Back to the one-on-one aspect, though, who should claim the title of being the NFL's best tight end?

Kelce's answer might surprise you.

Travis Kelce on George Kittle: 'He's the best tight end in the league'

Kelce might have more of a historic reputation for being the better pass-catcher, one who'll consistently put up just as good (or better) receiving numbers than Kittle any given season.

Kittle, however, is widely viewed as the more-rounded tight end who does more in the blocking game and as a decoy while also adding high-end statistics for his position.

So, who's the best?

In a pre-Super Bowl interview with reporters, Kelce couldn't help but crowning Kittle in that spot.

"The king of Tight End [University], man," Kelce said of Kittle, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "He's the best tight end in the league, and deservingly so this year."

During the regular season, Kelce put up 93 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns, marking the first year since 2015 in which he didn't reach the 1,000-yard plateau.

Kittle, named a first-team All-Pro for the second time in his career, finished 2023 with 65 catches for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns, his first 1,000-yard campaign since 2019, the last season in which the Niners made it to the Super Bowl.

Related story: George Kittle has now overtaken Travis Kelce as NFL's best tight end

"He's been playing lights out, playing the best football of his career and really catapulting that San Fran team through the playoffs," Kelce added. "I couldn't be more proud of him, and I couldn't be more honored, really, to go up against George in another Super Bowl.

"I can't say enough amazing things about who he is as a guy and who his family is. I can't say a bad thing about him."

Kelce's Chiefs face off against Kittle's Niners in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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