A 40-ish percent increase in the amount of money NFL teamspay top tight ends in 2020 would make no sense as an investment for the 49ers if George Kittle were like other top tight ends. He is not.

Thus, arguably the most impactful offensive player in San Francisco is now the in Manny Pina Jersey NFL history.


The contract extension to which the 49ers and Kittle agreed Thursday was months in the making and felt likea foregone conclusion after the 26-year-old helped the team reach Super Bowl 54 on the strength of his firstAll-Pro season. The COVID-19 pandemic created a bit of a delay in negotiations, but the result is a deal that benefits both Kittle and the 49ers for the short and long term.

Below are the details of Kittle's record contract with San Francisco and why this particular tight end is worth so much. (Figures via multiple media reports.)

George Kittle contract details with 49ersYears: 5Total value: $75 millionAverage per year: $15 millionTotal guaranteed: $40 millionGuaranteed at signing: $30 million

The figure that matters most in Kittle's contract is the $30 million guaranteed at signing, which includes an $18 million signing bonus. He will earn no le s than that from the 49ers while playing on this deal, a ma sive raise after he earned a total of $1.96 million on his rookie contract over the past three seasons combined.

At $15 million per year in new money, Kittle's contract resets the market for tight ends, as the Cecil Cooper Jersey previously highest-paid player at the position was Hunter Henry. The Chargers tight end will earn $10.6 million on the franchise tag this season.

As for non-tag deals for tight ends, Austin Hooper's four-year contract with the Browns pays him $10.5 million per year. Travis Kelce was getting $9.368 million per year before the Chiefs hours after news broke of Kittle's deal. Now Kelce is right behind Kittle with a new average annual salary between $14 million and $15 million per year.

As for the $40 million guaranteed in Kittle's contract, it's an absurd $17 million more than the previous high for a tight end, which was Hooper's $23 million from Cleveland. The $30 million guaranteed at signing also is a ma sive jump from the previous high that was the $19.8 million the Lions gave then-rookie T.J. Hockenson last year.

The new money in Kittle's contract extension makes him the in the NFL in terms Domingo Santana Jersey of average annual salary, tied with Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott at $15 million per year. Which supports the idea that tight ends in 2020 are undervalued considering that NFL players recentlyvoted Kittle the regardle s of position.


As noted by ESPN's Dan Graziano, the from Henry's salary to Kittle's new average salary would be like "a wide receivergetting $31 milliona year, a running backgetting $22.5 milliona year and a quarterbackgetting $63 milliona year." Keep in mind that Patrick Mahomes' will pay him " Mike Moustakas Jersey just" $45 million per year.

And yet the question of whether Kittle is worth that kind of raise was a no-brainer for the 49ers.

"I think we don't have to say how important George is to us, and not only as being the best tight end to me in the league, but also the type of person he is," San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahantold reporters earlier this month when asked about what he considered an inevitable extension. But Kittle being the best tight end in the NFL is only part of his case to earnunprecedented compensation.

NFL research on Thursdaycited some numbers from Next Gen Stats that perfectly displayKittle's value to the 49ers, who led the NFC in rushing yards last season while leading Jeremy Jeffress Jersey the entire NFL with 23 rushing touchdowns. (And that was before theyposted an absurd 186 and 285 rushing yards in the playoffs against the Vikings andPackers, respectively, on their way to the Super Bowl.)

San Francisco last season rushed for 5.0yards per carry with Kittle on the field. That number when Kittle was off the field.

Doesn't matter that Travis Kelce's team ended up winning the Super Bowl.You didn't need to follow the $ now to know George Kittle is clearly the best tight end in the NFL.

SN's Vinnie Iyer (@vinnieiyer)

More evidence of Kittle's blocking prowe s,: "In two games without him in 2019, the 49ers averaged 2.63 yards per carry and 60 Stephen Vogt Jersey .5 rushing yards with no touchdowns on the ground. In the 14 games he played, the Niners averaged 4.83 yards per carry and 156 rushing yards per game with 23 rushing touchdowns."

Oh, and Kittlesurpa sed Mike Ditka and Rob Gronkowski for the most receiving yards ever by a tight end through his first three NFL seasons,a total of 2,945 since he was selected in the fifth (!) round of the 2017 NFL Draft. No tight end has ever finished a season with more receiving yards than Kittle's 1,377 in 2018.

Kittle's production at his position and the undeniable impact he has on a Super Bowl-caliber team is unprecedented. So of course the 49ers gave him a contract to match.