Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

49ers, George Kittle not ‘particularly close’ on new deal, reports Rapoport

Jul 29, 2020 at 8:41 AM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch sounded optimistic on Tuesday that a deal with the team's All-Pro tight end, George Kittle, would get done — eventually.

"George is such a great fit for what we do," Lynch said on KNBR. "He's a tremendous player. I'm sitting here looking at the vision statement for what we want in a player, and George checks every box. He's tremendous. He's what we want to be. I think it would be silly not to figure that out, so we're going to do our best to do just that."

The good news is that Kittle reported to the 49ers on Tuesday for his first COVID-19 test. Should that one and his second test on Friday return negative, he will be allowed into the team's facility.

Kittle will eventually become the league's highest-paid tight end. You may not want to hold your breath, though, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

"From what I understand, the two sides have had conversations, have negotiated a potentially massive long-term deal that would, of course, make him the [highest-paid] tight end in the NFL," Rapoport said on Good Morning Football. "From what I understand, though, it doesn't feel like the two sides are particularly close on anything."

Kittle has been the 49ers' leading receiver in each of the past two seasons, recording back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard campaigns. The fifth-round draft pick from 2017 has been named to two Pro Bowls, and last season was named a first-team All-Pro. He is overwhelmingly viewed as the NFL's best tight end, proving to be valuable both as a receiving threat and a blocker.

Update: Rapoport later discussed the Kittle contract situation again on NFL Network, saying the following:

"It's really just a matter of how much (money). So they are not there yet but he did show up. He is going to participate (in training camp). All is good. They simply have not hit a point where they feel like they can finish this out. We will see if they're able to get this going as training camp continues. Obviously, this is a clear focus for the 49ers."

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