George Kittle is in the final year of his rookie contract. He's making just $2.13 million as a former fifth-round draft pick. That number is about to get a lot bigger in the future.
"He’s going to break the bank, and rightfully so," The Athletic's Jay Glazer said Wednesday in his most recent mailbag when asked what a fair price for Kittle would be. "He’s someone you don’t have to worry about because he has a work ethic. He’s not just trying to be famous, he’s trying to be great. That’s a big thing. Too many of these cats try to be famous instead of being great, not realizing that if you’re great, you will be famous.
"George Kittle could have dominated in any generation or era. That’s quite a rare find."
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The 49ers' star tight end is in a league of his own. He's both an elite blocker on the line and a monster in the open field with the ball in his hands. Kittle broke the single-season record for receiving yards as a tight end in 2018, and somehow was even better last season with his overall play despite missing two games to injuries.
His peers know just how dominant he is, too. Kittle was voted as the No. 7 overall player in the NFL by fellow players, the highest ever for a tight end.
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"I feel really good about this going forward and I’m optimistic about it," Shanahan said to Bay Area reporters on Monday. "Hopefully, something will happen sooner than later. I’m not too concerned about it, though.”
Kittle is tied for 2020 salary is tied for the 35th-highest among all tight ends, according to Spotrac. That will change, and it needs to soon to end any speculation regarding Kittle and the 49ers.