George Kittle and 49ers at a ‘significant disconnect’ in contract negotiations
San Francisco 49ers’ tight end George Kittle has become recognized as one of the biggest and brightest superstars in the NFL. Just look at the NFL Top-100 to see how players feel about him, he is clearly respected highly.
That’s great for Kittle, and exciting for the 49ers. However, it also causes a little bit of a problem for San Francisco. That problem comes when we are talking about contract negotiations.
Obviously the 49ers would like to keep the star tight end around. And they clearly know that they will have to pay him quite a bit of money to stick around long term.
But that does not mean they can continuously back up the Brinks’ truck for every player that needs a contract extension.
And because of this, Mike Silver of NFL Network spoke on the current disconnect between San Francisco and Kittle in contract negotiations.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 31, 2020
“There remains a pretty significant disconnect philosophically between the 49ers and George Kittle’s camp. The 49ers believe they want to reset the tight end market and give him a great tight end deal. And Kittle’s kind of saying, ‘I think I’m more than just a tight end.'”
“If you look at him as a tight end, yeah, George Kittle could reset the market,” Silver continued. “But George Kittle, who was just voted the seventh-best player in the league by his peers, and in my opinion, has earned that distinction, is thinking, I don’t want to be called a tight end for the purpose of these negotiations.”
“Because of the unique offseason, there’s a little time to figure this out,” Silver responded. “But if I’m George Kittle, I’m wondering, with the opt-out deadline coming up as early as August 7, depending on when the new deal gets signed, do I want to play for $2.133 million, [which would be] severely undervalued during a pandemic? Or do I want to take $150,000 and live to fight another year?
“I don’t think it’s come to that yet, but if I’m George Kittle, those thoughts are starting to form in my mind.”
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. However, it does seem like both sides want to make things work. Due to that, don’t be surprised if there are compromises from the 49ers and Kittle as the negotiations move forward.