George Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers have not made much progress with a new contract, with his agent saying he is looking for more than a deal that makes Kittle the highest paid end in the NFL.
“I don’t care about the tight end market,” Kittles agent, Jack Bechta, told NFL Network. “I get paid to do a George Kittle deal.”
Kittle, 26, will earn $ 735,000 in 2020 during the final year of his rookie contract.
During the season, Austin Hooper signed the biggest contract – four years, $ 42 million with the Cleveland Browns – for a tight end, while Los Angeles Chargers’ Hunter Henry will make the most money this year, $ 10,607,000 on the franchise tag.
But Kittle, a first-team All-Pro team in 2019, seems to be aiming higher. The highest-paid wide receivers, such as the Atlanta Falcons ‘Julio Jones and Dallas Cowboys’ Amari Cooper, earn $ 20 million per season or more, while the top 10 players for non-quarterback skill positions have an average of at least $ 16 million.
The NFL Network reported that Kittle’s side and the 49ers participated in preliminary negotiations in February but that they have not spoken in recent months, but that may be due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, general manager John Lynch said the 49ers plan to keep Kittle around in the long term.
“George is not going anywhere. We will work hard to try and get it done,” Lynch told KGMZ-FM 95.7 The Game. “I think they have motivation just to restore the tight end market, as we do to him. It’s just to find the sweet spot, where it is … When that happens, I don’t know. But we are working hard, like they are, to try to make it happen. George will be a part of the 49ers for a long, long time. “