Kittle identifies surprise 'fun' part of negotiating 49ers deal

USA Today

Less than a week after comparing negotiating his contract extension to wearing braces, 49ers George Kittle had another surprising description of the process.

He said Monday on "The Rich Eisen Show" that the experience was ... fun?

"[I enjoyed] the learning process behind it of what actually goes into making a contract," Kittle told Eisen. "I just thought that was really interesting. Whether it was the structure of the contract, just learning about the APYs (average per year), guarantees and all that stuff, just learning how it all worked and how it flowed together, it made a lot more sense to me. Don't just look at one big number, you want to look at the things in the back that not everyone would see. And so it was just fun to learn about that whole process."

Kittle officially signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $75 million on Aug. 14, becoming the NFL's highest-paid tight end after months of speculation whether or not he and the 49ers would get a deal done before the start of the 2020 season. Jack Bechta, Kittle's agent, gave the tight end a crash course in contracts during the process, but that experience sounded more enjoyable for the signer than the negotiator.

RELATED: 49ers' McGlinchey motivated by 'scars' of losing Super Bowl

Bechta called the 49ers' initial offer to Kittle "the Valentine's Day Massacre," and the two sides needed to take a "timeout" because negotiations were getting so tense. Kittle even called his own experience "stressful" in his interview with Eisen, so imagine how his agent felt without the novelty of learning about the business to fall back upon. Of course, that's why Kittle pays Bechta, and the agent must've earned a healthy commission on the deal.


One thing agent and client can agree on? They're surely both relieved to be able to say the contract is signed.

"I will say I'm glad that it's over because it was pretty stressful sometimes," Kittle told Eisen on Monday. "But overall, I'm pretty glad that it's over. I was just happy that we were able to work together and get this thing done so both sides are happy."