The San Francisco 49ers and All-Pro tight end George Kittle have come to terms on a five-year extension, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, has confirmed to Matt Malocco of NBC Sports Bay Area that the five-year extension is worth $75 million. It includes an $18 million signing bonus, $30 million due at signing, and has $40 million in total guarantees.
The $15 million average annual value to this deal now makes Kittle the highest-paid tight end in the NFL by a rather large margin. That ousts Chargers tight end Hunter Henry for the highest AAV at the position for 2020 of just over $10.6 million after being hit with the franchise tag earlier this year. It also bests Austin Hooper, who just signed a four-year, $42 million contract with the Cleveland Browns just a few months ago at the start of free agency. Hooper's AVV is now the third-highest among tight ends in the league for 2020 at $10.5 million.
Talks about getting a deal of this magnitude between San Francisco and Kittle have gone on dating back to Super Bowl LIV, seemingly heated up over the past 24 hours, and now have come to fruition. The 49ers brass have been open about keeping Kittle, who was selected by the franchise in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, for the long-term. GM John Lynch even stated his desire to get a deal of this nature done back in late July while appearing on KNBR.
"George is such a great fit for what we do," Lynch said at the time. "He's a tremendous player. (I'm) sitting here looking at the vision statement for what we want in a player, and George checks every box. He's tremendous. He's what we want to be. So I think it would be silly not to figure that out, so we're going to do our best to do just that."
And now they have.
After being drafted by the club, Kittle has blossomed into one of the top tight ends the league has to offer. Through his first three seasons, no tight end in NFL history has more receiving yards (2,945) than Kittle with Mike Ditka (2,774) and Rob Gronkowski (2,663) both behind him at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. In 2018, he broke the single-season record for most receiving yards (1,377) by a tight end in NFL history. Last year, he made another leap being named first-team All-Pro after hauling in 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns while helping San Francisco win the NFC before ultimately falling short in the Super Bowl.
With Kittle now under contract for the next half-decade, the Niners can continue building towards another Super Bowl title for the storied franchise and know that they'll have a lethal tight end firmly placed within the offense.