49ers

49ers' George Kittle ranked No. 7 player in NFL Top 100, makes history

49ers' George Kittle ranked No. 7 player in NFL Top 100, makes history

George Kittle's ranking in the 2020 NFL Top 100 was revealed Wednesday night, and he made history in the process.

The 49ers tight end was ranked as the No. 7 overall player in the league by his fellow peers. That's the highest ranking for a tight end in the 10-year history of the NFL Top 100.

In addition to being the highest-ranked player at his position in the history of the Top 100, Kittle is the highest-ranked member of the 49ers since Aldon Smith came in at No. 7 in 2013.

Kittle had no shortage of accomplishments and accolades this past season, but to get an idea of just how dominant he was, take it from the players themselves.

In three years, Kittle has gone from an overlooked fifth-round draft pick to the preeminent tight end in the game. And clearly, his peers have taken notice. 

[RELATED: Report: Kittle, 49ers still not close on any contract talks]

There obviously isn't much room for Kittle to go up on next year's list, but his final quote in the full-length player testimonial video insists you shouldn't rule it out.

"I will be back here," Kittle said in the waning moments of Super Bowl LIV. "I will be back here, and I will be back with a vengeance."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

George Kittle scared Seahawks into Jamal Adams trade, Ian Williams says

George Kittle scared Seahawks into Jamal Adams trade, Ian Williams says

George Kittle's contract extension was on the 49ers' mind all offseason and much of training camp, until the All-Pro tight end officially put pen to paper.

The 49ers' biggest rival thought a lot about it, too.

The Seattle Seahawks traded a fortune -- specifically, two first-round picks (2021 and 2022), a 2021 third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald -- to acquire All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. Seahawks general manager John Schneider admitted Kittle's presence was a factor in Seattle acquiring Adams, and NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Ian Williams believes that's one of the truest testaments to Kittle's greatness.

"You made Seattle sell their souls for the next couple years, and their future picks in the first round, to the Jets for Jamal Adams," Williams said, addressing Kittle in a digital video for NBC Sports Bay Area. "Very good player, but that player was brought in to be versatile, help the defense do more things that they couldn't do last year and, uh, cover you. Yeah, you're forcing teams to do what they don't want to do."

Kittle set the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2017 (1,377) and his two seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards are the only ones by a tight end in franchise history. The Seahawks are hoping Adams can be their long-term answer to Kittle, but they need to sign him first.

Just as Kittle was entering this season, Adams is eligible to sign a contract extension. Seattle will have Adams under contract through 2021 because New York already exercised his fifth-year option, and the Seahawks reportedly are content waiting to sign him. Adams reportedly wants to be the NFL's highest-paid safety.

[RELATED: Kittle channels Ric Flair to celebrate his new 49ers contract]

Time will tell if Adams remains in the Pacific Northwest, and if his presence is enough to neutralize Kittle in future 49ers-Seahawks matchups.

Kittle undoubtedly forced Seattle's hand this summer, and that's enough to give the tight end the upper hand in Williams' eyes.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Rock congratulates 49ers' George Kittle on his contract extension

The Rock congratulates 49ers' George Kittle on his contract extension

49ers fans everywhere are pumped that George Kittle officially signed his five-year contract extension to stay in San Francisco on Friday.

But one fan is a little more jacked up for Kittle.

That's right. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson congratulated the All-Pro tight end on his new deal.

Kittle was equally stoked to get the message from The Rock.

Kittle, a huge WWE fan, has formed a close bond with The Rock over the last year. When the 49ers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3 last season, Kittle channeled The Rock with a postgame speech. A day later, the wrestling icon tweeted at Kittle, blowing the tight end's mind.

[RELATED: Kittle channels Ric Flair to celebrate extension]

Ever since then, The Rock has been cheering on Kittle and the 49ers, and they even met before Super Bowl LIV.

During a recent interview with ESPN, Kittle spoke about meeting The Rock.

"I felt like a little kid meeting a superhero," Kittle said to ESPN's Tory Zawacki Roy. "That was one of the coolest things about the whole Super Bowl. I took his one bottle of tequila that he had. It was delicious."

Fans likely won't be allowed in NFL games during the 2020 season, but it's a safe bet that The Rock will be watching Kittle play and rooting for him on Twitter.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]