The elephant left the room when George Kittle officially signed a five-year contract extension, worth up to $75 million, with the 49ers last week. Sometimes-tense negotiations moved into the rearview mirror, and any uncertainty about the tight end's long-term future in the Bay Area was gone with the stroke of a pen.
Kittle said Wednesday it "feels great" to have the process behind him, likening it to ... orthodontia?
"I think the best thing I heard is that your contract negotiation is kind of like having braces," Kittle told "The Morning Show" on 95.7 The Game. "And when you're done, you have great looking teeth and a fat stack of cash. So, I'm pretty excited about it."
My experience(s) with braces didn't end with millions of dollars in the bank, but I can't speak for you, dear reader.
Of course, wearing braces should result in the feeling that it was all of the pain along the way was worth it. Kittle can say the same after some pretty tense negotiations with the 49ers, which ended with him becoming the highest-paid tight end in the league.
The $40 million he's guaranteed helped him set records, but it also gave him peace of mind. Kittle knows he's set for life.
"Honestly, the dream is just to be able to, like, do whatever I want to," Kittle said. "And I think now that I really can just focus on football, I think what I do after football after I retire will be taken care of because of this. It just makes me really excited knowing I can play for as long as I want, and then afterwards I'll still be able to have some fun."
Kittle probably has (at least) one more contract negotiation in him, considering he'll be 32 when his current pact with the 49ers expires.
Given what he earned on this deal, Kittle's next contract should feel more like wearing a retainer than having to get braces again.