Arguably the most important player on the San Francisco 49ers offense – and perhaps the team – is tight end George Kittle.
The former Iowa star is a dominant figure in the run game and a matchup nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs in the open field. He’s the top weapon for the 49ers, but the team has a major decisions to make soon.
Kittle is headed into the final year of his rookie contract. As a former fifth-round pick, he’s severely underpaid – he’s due just over $2 million for the 2020 season.
According to a report from NFL insider Michael Silver, the 49ers and Kittle are “not close at all” in talks on a new contract. Here’s what Silver had to say on NFL Total Access:
“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.”
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) May 29, 2020
Kittle owns several NFL records despite playing in the league for just three years.
During the 2018 season, the former Hawkeyes star set the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377.
He also owns the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in his first three seasons with 2,945.
There’s no doubt he’ll reset the tight end market in the near future.