The 2020 NFL free agency class is extremely loaded, especially at the quarterback position. Tom Brady led the way this year, with several other notable players hitting the open market.
It’ll be tough for the 2021 free agency class to top the hype of this year’s group, but there are a couple of big-time players set to become free agents next season.
ESPN has already named its No. 1 free agent for the 2021 class. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle gets that honor.
Kittle, arguably the best tight end in football, will hit the open market in 2021. He’ll be 27 years old entering the ’21 season.
Arguably the best tight end in the NFL — and one of the league’s best overall players — would shatter precedent if he ever got on the open market. Given the relative efficiency of the tight end franchise tag number, it’s hard to imagine the 49ers ever letting it get to that point.
Of course, it would be extremely surprising to see the 49ers let Kittle leave in free agency. As ESPN mentioned, the 49ers could franchise tag him with relative ease.
San Francisco could also look to sign Kittle to a longterm extension.
The All-Pro tight end is coming off a 2019 season in which he caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns.
You can view ESPN’s full list here.