George Kittle signs 5 year extension with San Francisco. George Kittle has arguably emerged as the best TE in the NFL over the last couple years. The San Francisco 49ers rewarded the All-Pro TE with a new contract making him the highest paid at his position. The San Francisco 49ers and Kittle agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract on Thursday. The deal was first reported by Barstool Sports, which reports Kittle received $40 million guaranteed for injury and $30 million guaranteed at signing.
The Niners and Kittle went through a lengthy contract negotiation, which began after the Super Bowl and was complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. The potential for a revenue shortfall from playing games with no fans in the stands — and an ensuing salary-cap drop — created uncertainty about how to structure a potential deal. Kittle reported to training camp and participated in all team activities without so much as a threat of a holdout. Because the sides remained amicable throughout the process, general manager John Lynch and Shanahan remained optimistic that a deal would get done as the Niners opened camp.
This summer, NFL players ranked Kittle as the seventh-best player in the league, regardless of position. He has racked up 2,945 receiving yards — the most by any tight end in NFL history after three seasons, surpassing Mike Ditka and Rob Gronkowski. In 2018, Kittle set the record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end when he finished with 1,377. Over the past two seasons, Kittle ranks sixth in the NFL among all pass-catchers with 2,430 receiving yards, 11th with 173 receptions and second with 1,464 yards after the catch.
Beyond his receiving prowess, Kittle is widely regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. In two games without him in 2019, the 49ers averaged 2.63 yards per carry and 60.5 rushing yards with no touchdowns on the ground. In the 14 games he played, the Niners averaged 4.83 yards per carry and 156 rushing yards per game with 23 rushing touchdowns.