Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good Morning Football hosts say 49ers should pay George Kittle like a receiver, if necessary

Jul 16, 2020 at 10:20 AM--

The hosts of NFL Network's Good Morning Football discussed the value of tight end George Kittle to the San Francisco 49ers. The two sides appear to be at an impasse in contract negotiation discussions. Although, recent rumors suggest that the two sides aren't as far apart as reported.

What do Kay Adams, Kyle Brandt, and Nate Burleson think about the rumored reports that Kittle and his agent are looking to burst the ceiling off of the tight end market and get a contract more in line with wide receivers than tight ends?

Adams wants to see a flame-thrower taken to the tight end market to "blow it up."

"Travis Kelce signed a huge deal three years ago, $9.3 million a year," Adams said. "He's the third-highest paid tight end. There are 26 wide receivers set to make more than Travis Kelce in 2020. And there's nothing wrong with these receivers, but they aren't impact guys like Kelce (or Kittle) is to their respective teams."

Adams goes on to say she believes tight ends are "sadly and almost pathetically" underpaid. She believes Kittle, who helped the 49ers to so much success last season, can change all of that.

Burleson acknowledges that Kittle checks all the boxes. He is a dominant and smart football player. Kittle can play both tight end and receiver while extending the offensive line.

"That will get you paid right out (of) the gate," Burleson adds. "The variables? Is he great with the fans? He's tremendous. Does he speak very well in front of the camera and represent your organization? Yes, definitely. Is he a guy that you can count on that is going to be a leader and put the team in front of himself for years to come? Check, check, check, check.

"... I'm telling you, San Francisco, lock this guy in and give him the biggest contract you can. Reset the market, if that's what it takes; pay him like a wide receiver, if that's what it takes, because guys like this don't come along every year."

Brandt uses another team's recent long-term agreement with one of its running backs as an example of why Kittle is so important to San Francisco.

"I would rip from the headlines with Derrick Henry, the Titans decided we're not the Titans without Derrick Henry," Brandt explained. "That's us. That's our identity. We could get another running back, sure, but this is our guy. He does everything we want as an offense. And I think Kittle is the same way.

"You could get someone who blocks pretty well, you could get someone who catches, but they wouldn't have Kittle. They wouldn't have the guy slapping his Joker tattoo because he's mad after every play. I think they want it.

"I think what's interesting about Kittle's personality, he is so modest, and so, almost maddeningly, team-oriented, I bet he's almost reluctant to take a huge contract because he is that good of a teammate. And just a prediction: I bet you he takes less than he can get because he wants to get back to that Super Bowl so badly."

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