The San Francisco 49ers have made George Kittle the highest-paid tight end in the history of the game after handing him a five-year extension worth $75 million. What was widely expected to happen this offseason, became official this Thursday when the 49ers and Kittle agreed on a record-setting long-term deal.
Kittle, who was absolutely phenomenal this past season and one of the main keys' behind the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl, is now considered as maybe the best player at his position in the league. "It is a cool thing when you're talking about a big deal for somebody, especially in the uncertain times that it is now with the salary cap changing and whatever the revenue differences are going to be this year," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told KNBR radio in San Francisco on Thursday, as quoted on ESPN.
".. It's not about just being the best tight end in the NFL, it's who he is after that. That to me makes me want to get this stuff done when you might not actually have to right now. And especially for a guy like that."
Coach Shanahan says Kittle has earned the mega extension
"He's earned it. He does everything the right way. It starts with how talented and good you play on Sunday. As I just said, he does that to me better than any tight end in the league.
But then 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 only what he has done but what he's going to do.
When you have a guy like that, I think it makes it a lot easier for the owner to commit to him like that," Shanahan said. Kittle has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons and this past season he named the First-team All Pro.
The 49ers never had doubts whether or not they wanted Kittle going forward. "We've been real excited about it," Shanahan told KNBR. "Something we've been working on for a while. Both sides wanted to get a deal done so usually it happens.
But it's always a tough deal to work through all that. We finally got it done. Pretty nice, especially right before we're about to put on pads and get to practicing here in a couple days."