NFL Rumors: George Kittle Wants Big Money, Not Close To New Deal With 49ers

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after a play against the Los Angeles Rams during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium.
Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Some players feel as if they are the best in the NFL, and that is why George Kittle is nowhere near a new deal. The fourth-year tight end has put up impressive numbers for the San Francisco 49ers, and he feels his performance is deserving of a lot of money. Rumors are swirling that he and the team are not even close to striking a new deal yet because Kittle feels he deserves multiple-position pay.

According to NBC Sports, Kittle’s agent, Jack Bechta, feels as if his client deserves to be paid as a combination of a tight end, wide receiver, and lineman. Michael Silver of NFL Network says that even though Kittle is seen as the best tight end in the NFL, he deserves to be paid even more money due to all he does on the field.

“I’ve been talking a lot to [Kittle’s] agent, Jack Bechta, over the last couple of months and he has consistently said, ‘I don’t care about the tight end market; I’m being paid to do a George Kittle deal.’ And I tend to agree with him here. He is their No. 1 target, so important in that locker room, and clearly, he is doing something that transcends what a typical tight end does.”

In 2019, Kittle led the 49ers in receiving yards (1,053) and receiving touchdowns (5) even though he missed two games.

George Kittle before an NFL game.
  Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is the final year of Kittle’s rookie contract, and he will make $735,000 based on that deal. Austin Hooper signed a new deal with the Cleveland Browns during the offseason, and it was the largest for a tight end, with $42 million over four years.

As things currently stand, Hunter Henry will make the most money as a tight end during the 2020 season. The Los Angeles Chargers assigned the franchise tag to him, which will earn him $10,607,000 for the upcoming season.

The 49ers averaged an additional 2.3 yards on rushes outside of the tackles when Kittle was on the field. Those are the kind of numbers that leads Bechta to want extra money for his client as he knows Kittle is valuable to the team as much more than just a tight end.

Silver said on the NFL Network this week that George Kittle and the 49ers are “not close at all” to a new deal. The shutdown of everything due to the coronavirus pandemic has made discussions difficult, but talks between the two sides began in mid-February.