George Kittle's contract extension will continue to be the talk of 49ers training camp until the star tight end puts pen to paper.
The 49ers and Kittle reportedly still are far apart in negotiations as Kittle looks to secure a payday that hets him compensated as a top-pass catcher and not just a tight end.
As negotiations continue, coach Kyle Shanahan is happy to have Kittle at camp and even happier it's general manager John Lynch's job to work out the contract.
"That's why we're doing everything we can to make sure he's here for a long time," Shanahan said Thursday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks." "Lots of stuff to talk through with that. Stuff that I am very glad I don't get paid to do. I'm very glad I can sit here and talk mainly football, and enjoy that stuff with George. That's been great with him because he's been great in the walk-throughs, great in the meetings.
"I know right now, as we speak, every day, I know John's upstairs working his butt off talking to Kittle's agent, and those two are trying to work it out."
Kittle is entering the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. He is set to make $2.133 million this season.
Since 2017, Kittle has emerged as the top tight end in football. He's not only a dominant force in the passing game but also a key piece of the 49ers' rushing attack as one of the best blockers in the NFL. Kittle is the only tight end in 49ers history to record a 1,000-yard season and he set the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377. He followed that up with 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.
While negotiations haven't yielded anything yet, Shanahan has a good feeling everything will get done.
“We don’t have to say how important George is to us,” Shanahan told reporters earlier this week. “Not only being the best tight end, to me, in the league but also the type of person he is. We’re doing everything we can to get that done. I do feel good about it. It was great to see George today for the first time.
“It was great to see George again today. No one’s changed, and I feel really good about this going forward and I’m optimistic about it. Hopefully, something will happen sooner than later. I’m not too concerned about it, though."
The 49ers will pay Kittle, of that there is little doubt.
The only question remaining is: How much will the best tight in football settle for?
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