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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan ‘pumped’ over George Kittle deal

49ers, Kyle Shanahan, George Kittle

The San Francisco 49ers rewarded their all-world tight end, George Kittle, with a five-year, $75 million contract on Thursday, making Kittle the highest-paid tight end in football.

49ers head coach, Kyle Shananan—who made Kittle a focal point of the team’s offense—is unsurprisingly amped that his star pass-catcher got his money and won’t be leaving town anytime soon.

“He’s earned it,” Shanahan told KNBR. “He does everything the right way. It starts with how talented and good you play on Sunday, which he does better than any tight end in the league. But after that. The way the guy takes care of himself. The way 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 has done but what he’s going to do. When you have a guy like that, it makes it a lot easier for the owner to commit to him like that.”

Kittle, 26, has tallied more receiving yards (2,945) than any tight end in NFL history after his first three seasons. In 2018, he set the record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end with 1,377. He put up 1,053 yards and five TDs in 2019 in 14 games.

“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,” Shananan said.

Kittle’s deal tops the four-year, $42 million contract Austin Hooper signed with the Cleveland Browns in March, and the annual value of his deal slightly surpasses the four-year, $57.25 million extension Travis Kelce signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, also on Thursday.

There was no rush on reaching a new deal. But, Shanahan noted that Kittle is the kind of player who “makes you want to get that stuff done when you might not actually have to right now.”