Tight end George Kittle agreed to a $ 75 million, five-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. This is the most lucrative contract in the NFL for this position.
The parties reached the agreement on Thursday, said a person with knowledge of the negotiation. Thus, they will keep Kittle out of the market for other teams.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal has not been announced by the team.
The NFL Network first reported the terms and said the contract includes a $ 18 million signing bonus.
“Kittle is Kittle,” he’s a beast, “said teammate Dee Ford.” He’s the best blocking tight end, the best catching tight end, the best tight end in the league. He’s always good competition to face him. proud of him, he deserves every penny ”.
Retaining Kittle’s services was a priority this summer for the Niners and they did it two days before practice begins with the full team in the practice center.
Kittle is one of the NFL’s big bargains after being selected in the fifth round in 2017 and will now have the largest contract in history for his position. The previous mark for a tight end, according to the website overthecap.com, belongs to Austin Hooper who signed a four-year, $ 42 million deal with Cleveland during this offseason.
Hunter Henry will play this season with the $ 10.6 million franchise tag with the Chargers.
The 49ers could have awarded Kittle the tag in the next two inter-season breaks, but they struck a long-term deal that satisfies both parties.
“He earned it,” coach Kyle Shanahan told KNBR radio station. “He does everything the right way. He starts off with his talent and his good game on Sundays that he does better than any other tight end in the league. But besides that, the way he takes care of himself. The way you work all year long and how you keep your body healthy with the way you play. It makes you believe in him. “
Kittle is the most productive tight end in NFL history in his first three seasons with 197 receptions for 2,664 yards. But he’s almost as skilled as a rushing blocker and has been key to Shanahan’s offensive dynamics.
The Niners averaged 5.0 yards per carry last season with Kittle on the field, compared to 3.5 yards per carry without him, according to NFL NextGen stats.