SAN FRANCISCO—According to reports, the 2018-2019 NFC Conference Champion San Francisco 49ers could either trade all-pro tight end George Kittle, or sign him to a massive contract extension, in the very near future.
Last season, Kittle scored five touchdowns on 85 receptions, racking up a total of 1,053 total yards in 14 games on way to his first Super Bowl appearance in his young career. While all of these stats were just short of his career high numbers from a season before, rumors are swirling that Kittle could be asking for big money coming up very soon. If he doesn’t get that, he might demand a trade, as many players do when they don’t get the contract they think they deserve.
The problem with giving Kittle the extension is the impact it could have on the teams’ salary cap, as they are looking to keep many big name free agents already on the roster, and possibly signing others. The alternative scenario to extending, or trading, Kittle would be putting a franchise tag on him, so as to prevent the third year man from leaving for free agency on his own terms.
Other options would be trading defensive end Soloman Thomas, cutting defensive lineman Dee Ford, or restructuring the contract of starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
While all of those things could very well happen, Kittle is still considered one of top tight ends in the National Football League, up there with the likes of Los Angeles Chargers’ Hunter Henry, who is currently the highest paid player at his position, making $10.6 million per year, and that’s the kind of money Kittle could be looking to make in his next deal.
Ultimately, Kittle may get what he wants financially, but it might not come from his current team.