Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch won’t put timetable on new deal for George Kittle but says it remains 49ers’ priority

May 7, 2020 at 12:19 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have gotten extraordinary value out of George Kittle, who, over the past three seasons, has cemented himself as one of the NFL's best tight ends. Soon, he will be paid like the best. When that will happen, though, hasn't been made clear.

General manager John Lynch earlier stated that attempts were made after the Super Bowl to lock up Kittle to a long-term contract. The two sides weren't able to find that "sweet spot" on a new deal, though.

Lynch doesn't sound too concerned. He seems confident that a new deal will get done.

"George is certainly a priority," Lynch recently told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I don't anticipate – you never say never – but George is going to be Niner. We think too highly of him. I think he loves the (environment).

"We've got to find the right deal, and we'll continue working towards that. We're not going to put any timetable on that. But George is certainly is a priority for us. We love everything about him. We love everything he brings to the Niners."

San Francisco made Kittle a fifth-round pick in Lynch's and head coach Kyle Shanahan's first draft together. Casual fans took notice in 2018 when Kittle set a new NFL record for single-season receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377 yards on 88 receptions. He followed that up last year with his second season of 1,000-or-more receiving yards.

"I was lucky to fall into the type of team I was with," Kittle recently told Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. "I have great guys on that team, and they just kind of helped me reach that level, and I kind of learned a lot from them. I was trying to be a sponge around Joe Staley as much as I could, and other vets. I think it just kind of all helped out."

Kittle is due to become the league's highest-paid tight end. He is scheduled to earn just $2.133 million in 2020, the final year of his rookie contract, according to

Many expect Kittle's annual salary to soar by 10-to-12 million dollars, possibly more, than the sum he will earn this year.

"These things aren't easy," Lynch added. "Oftentimes, they're complex, but they're doable. I know there's motivation on both sides. And so I'm very confident in due time, we'll get that done."

You can listen to the entire conversation between Lynch and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area below.

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