Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is about to enter his fifth NFL season and will be playing 2020 on his fifth-year rookie option unless a contract extension gets done this offseason. He may not be the San Francisco 49ers' priority extension in the coming months, however.

There is no doubt that tight end George Kittle is the team's best player. While there are plenty of comparable contracts to figure out Buckner's worth, Kittle's potential deal is a bit trickier. There has been significant speculation surrounding what the All-Pro tight end might earn on his second NFL contract. There may be no comparable contracts, though.

Right now, the highest-paid tight end, when it comes to average salary per year, is Jimmy Graham of the Green Bay Packers, who earns $10 million per season. That's nearly $700,000 more a year than Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, who is in discussion with Kittle for the NFL's best tight end.

That won't be the starting point.

Many believe Kittle's pricetag will reset the tight end market, and a figure closer to $13 million per season is more realistic — maybe more. And there will be a lot more guaranteed money than the record $22 million Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton received in 2018. Yes, Burton received the most guaranteed money ever for a tight end. That's free agency for you.

Kelce's contract is no help because his five-year deal was signed back in 2016. So when it comes to Kittle's extension, no one else's contract matters much in negotiations.

So what can we expect the 49ers to spend on Kittle? Former NFL scout and writer for The Athletic, John Middlekauff, can envision a deal with over $40 million in guaranteed money, which is good news for Kelce and any tight end deal that may come after Kittle's.

"I think this number is going to be well over 40 (million guaranteed)," Middlekauff told Guy Haberman on the duo's Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast. "I think he's going to shatter the market."

Forget $40 million. Haberman believes Kittle's agent should start higher with something similar to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones' 2019 deal, which included $64 million in guaranteed money. Middlekauff felt that was a bit too high an ask, but agrees that anything less than $40 million is unlikely, and anything less than $50 million should force Kittle's representatives to "walk away from the table."

In fact, if the 49ers can get away with only spending $40 million in guaranteed money for Kittle, the team should consider it a steal.

"This guy is too good," Middlekauff added. "You guys don't even hide your love for him. It's well known. We're all on the same page of how important he is for you, what fans think, what the league thinks, what everyone thinks, how great this guy is. He's basically the new Rob (Gronkowski), and we ain't doing f---king Belichick deals. We're doing big-money deals."

Chief contract negotiator Paraag Marathe may have to be creative when it comes to the extensions of the 49ers' young talent. The team, which is in win-now mode, has significantly less salary cap surplus than it has in recent years.

You can listen to the entire podcast discussion below.