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NFL rumors: George Kittle set to join others with record-breaking contract?

Vincent Frank
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of rumors and reports floating around pertaining to the contract status of San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle.

Most recently, a report from NFL Media’s Mike Silver noted that things are at a standstill between the two sides. We now have another report from an insider who has covered the 49ers for the past decade.

49ers set to sign George Kittle to record-breaking contract

According to Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated (previously the 49ers’ beat writer at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat), San Francisco will announce a contract extension for Kittle on Friday.

The report indicates that the All-Pro tight end will receive $94.8 million over six years on his new contract. Said deal includes $47.4 million in guarantees and a $25 million signing bonus. In an attempt to take into account what’s expected to be a decreased salary cap in 2021, Kittle will count only $10 million against said cap that season, according to the report.

The above-mentioned Mike Silver is also noting that the two sides are making progressive, pretty much contradicting his previous report.

This would obviously make Kittle the highest-paid tight end in NFL history. As of right now, that title goes to recent Cleveland Browns free-agent signing Austin Hooper. He’s earning only $10.5 million annually. Kittle’s contract would pay him $15.8 million on a per-year basis.

George Kittle would be worth every penny

A fifth-round pick from Iowa back in 2015, Kittle has put up record numbers over the past couple seasons. He set the record for the most receiving yards for a tight end back in 2018 with 1,377 and is seen as the best blocking player at his position in the NFL.

Things have seemingly been contentious behind the scenes between Kittle and San Francisco’s brass. Though, that did not stop him from reporting to training camp earlier this month.

NFL players continue to see record-breaking contracts

Despite the issues pertaining to revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are still handing out record-breaking contracts to their star players. If the rumored Kittle deal is true, it would just be the latest in a long line of record-breaking contracts.

Patrick Mahomes: The reigning Super Bowl MVP inked a 10-year, $450 million extension with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason that could be worth up to north of $500 million.

Christian McCaffrey: It was earlier this offseason that this Carolina Panthers star inked a record-breaking four-year, $64.1 million extension with his team. The $16 million annual salary represents a high-water mark for a running back in NFL history.

Amari Cooper: Set to become a free agent this past March, Cooper inked a five-year, $100 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys. His $20 million average annual salary is a record for the wide receiver position.

Joey Bosa: Just when it looked like he’d be playing out the final year of his rookie contract, Bosa received a five-year, $135 million extension with the Los Angeles Chargers. It’s the largest contract for an edge rusher in NFL history, besting the five-year, $125 million deal Myles Garrett inked with the Cleveland Browns weeks earlier.