Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers, George Kittle agree to a 5-year, $75 million contract extension, per Rapoport

Aug 13, 2020 at 8:06 AM--

San Francisco 49ers fans can rest easy knowing that the heart and soul of their favorite team, tight end George Kittle, will remain with the organization for the foreseeable future. Signing Kittle was a priority entering the offseason, and San Francisco finally accomplished that on Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver of NFL Network.

The 49ers and Kittle agreed to a five-year extension reportedly worth $75 million. Half of that total will come as guarantees. The average annual salary of $15 million officially makes him the highest-paid tight end in football by a significant margin.

"Language is being worked on, but numbers are there," reports Rapoport. "One of their top players, this was a big-time priority."

Added Rapoport on NFL Network: "As far as the other specifics, he gets $40 million in total guarantees. That includes injury guarantees. $30 million is fully guaranteed at signing. So the 49ers give him probably more guaranteed money than they have given a lot of the other players. That just speaks to his importance. And in a pandemic, when money is hard to come by, he gets $18 million in a signing bonus."

Kittle's buddies at the Pardon My Take podcast actually broke the news about a minute before Rapoport.

Kittle, 26, was scheduled to enter the final year of his four-year rookie deal this season. Negotiations were not easy and dragged through the offseason, with the two sides reportedly seeking very different levels of compensation.

Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, wasn't interested in using the tight end market as a gauge since his client has proven to be the 49ers' best receiver and one of their best run blockers.

"Right now, there is not comp for George," Bechta told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier this offseason. "He's unique. He's a unicorn. He's one of a kind."

Added Bechta: "At the end of the day, I trust the Niners will do the right thing, and take good care of George, as they should."

Kittle reported to the 49ers with the rest of the veterans on July 28 for COVID-19 testing as training camp started, and did so without a new deal in place.

"Being a captain, I want to be there for my team, and I need to show the right leadership skills," Kittle said earlier this month.

The 49ers made Kittle a fifth-round selection out of Iowa in 2017. He registered 85 receptions for 1,053 yards with five touchdowns through 14 regular-season starts with the 49ers in 2019.

"We don't have to say how important George is to us, and not only [him] being the best tight end, to me, in the league but also the type of person he is," head coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this month.

Kittle has caught 216 passes for 2,945 yards with 12 touchdowns through his three NFL seasons. His receiving yards total since being drafted are the most by a tight end during the player's first three seasons.

The young NFL star is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was named a first-team All-Pro following the 2019 season. He has recorded back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard seasons, including a 2018 campaign where he set an NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377 yards.

Kittle was recently ranked No. 7 on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020.

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