Will the 49ers Extend George Kittle Before Week One?
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Locking up All Pro tight end George Kittle for the foreseeable future has been a top priority for the San Francisco 49ers.
Or at least, that is what they claim.
It is kind of hard to see that considering the two sides are reportedly far apart on any agreement. The 49ers knew Kittle was going to be due for an extension, yet here we are just over a month away from Week 1 of the 2020 NFL regular season.
While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly factors into the complexity of inking a deal, there should be some progress already made so that Kittle's contract will not be a talking point for the entire season.
This begs the question to ask: will the 49ers extend Kittle before Week 1?
I'm sure they would love to have his deal taken care of by then. Kittle is the best player on the team and takes the offense to new heights when he is on the field. Plus, his number would only go up the longer they put off his deal.
However, I do not envision the 49ers locking him up to an extension prior to Week 1.
Like I said, Kittle's deal already has its own complications due to the coronavirus. The 49ers have no clue what the future of the salary cap is looking like, so they are not going to commit a high sum of money to Kittle right now since they could cap strap themselves over the next few seasons.
But Kittle isn't just looking to be the highest-paid tight end in the game.
Kittle and his agent are assuredly seeing how far they can go to get the most out of the 49ers. I would not put it past them to have floated $17 million annually as their desired income. They would definitely be within their rights to demand it since Kittle acts as a top receiver and tight end. He is just the ultimate offensive weapon and this is where the 49ers' backs get really pushed to the wall.
They have to find the median of how much yearly they should pay him, how much up front, the guarantees, and whether to backload or frontload the deal.
This isn't as simple as just giving Mostert an adjusted contract.
Had the salary cap not been projected to take a hit for the next few years, then I would lean towards an extension for Kittle getting done. But the 49ers do not make deals irrationally. Careful structuring and configuration is their M.O. It is why they are one of the best franchises when it comes to caring for the salary cap.
The problem is that this will be a headline throughout the season and a potential distraction. From fans to pundits, it is constantly going to be brought up. So all of the #PayGeorgeKittle trends will continue on twitter until the news is finally announced.