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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan ‘real excited’ to get George Kittle’s deal done before 49ers’ padded practices

Aug 13, 2020 at 10:58 AM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is pretty excited this morning. His team locked up its All-Pro tight end to a massive five-year, $75 million contract extension. Ian Rapoport was the first among the mainstream media to officially report that the deal had been agreed upon. He did so this morning, about a minute after Kittle's buddies at the Pardon My Take podcast shared the details of the contract.

Shanahan joined KNBR on Thursday morning and humorously boasted about being more of an insider than Rapoport, though.

"I don't get Twitter, but fortunately, I knew before Ian," Shanahan joked on the Murph & Mac show. "I'm on the inside here. I found out last night, and I was able to keep my mouth shut.

"But yeah, we've been real excited about it. It's something we've been working on for a while. Both sides want to get a deal done, so usually, it happens, but it's always a tough deal to work through all that. And we finally got it done, and it's pretty nice, especially right before we're about to put on pads and get to practicing here in a couple of days."

Shanahan said he already acknowledged the imminent contract extension with Kittle himself.

"I saw him on the field," the coach continued. "I just gave him a little pound, kind of a head nod, and he knew that I knew. But we weren't trying to talk about it. I know George wanted to release it, I think to Big Cat (of Pardon My Take) this morning. I think that came out through him. So I didn't tell anybody last night.

"I just had a team meeting. I don't get to see George one-on-one in there, but I'll see him out here in walk-though in about 45 minutes."

The new deal keeps Kittle with the team through the 2025 season. He has one year remaining on his four-year rookie contract, and the extension will kick in after that.

Shanahan acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic and the strangeness of this offseason complicated the negotiations, but the two sides were able to finally come to an agreement.

"But when you have a guy like George, who is different, and is special, it's not about just being the best tight end in the NFL, it's who he is after that," Shanahan added. "It makes you want to get this stuff done when you might not actually have to, right now, and especially for a guy like that. He's earned it. He does everything the right way.

"It starts with how talented and good you play on Sunday, which, as I just said, he does that, to me, better than any tight end in the league. But then after that, the way the guy takes care of himself, he works year-round to put his body in a position to stay healthy with the way he plays.

"It makes you believe in the guy. It makes you believe in not what he's done, but what he's going to do. When you have a guy like that, I think it makes it a lot easier for the owner to commit to him like that. We were just pumped to get it done because it's something we all were dying to get something like that done with a player like George, and thankfully we did."

The 49ers made Kittle a fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2017.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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