Kittle is set to become a free agent following the upcoming season. The 49ers, of course, would love to lock him up before the star tight end ever hits the open market. But the coronavirus pandemic might have put a halt to negotiations.
"It's not simple because of the times that we're in -- the pandemic, how revenues around the NFL could be dropping significantly next year and how it's tough for the 49ers to commit huge money to a player when you don't know what the salary cap is going to be," NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco said on the latest 49ers Insider Podcast.
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That didn't stop the Kansas City Chiefs from making Patrick Mahomes the first half-billion dollar man, though. Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension that could be worth up to $503 million. Kittle and his agent, Jack Bechta, certainly took note of the megadeal.
"Well, George Kittle and George Kittle's agent right now are going, 'It didn't seem to impact the Kansas City Chiefs and their decision making.' ... I think it puts the onus on the 49ers to now say that they are making a commitment to their best player," Maiocco said.
Kittle is a special player who deserves a special contract. He is the rare unicorn in the NFL, serving as a dominant blocker and receiver. While he isn't going to receive a Mahomes-esque contract, Kittle is due a big, big payday.
That might need to come sooner than expected now, too.
"If the Super Bowl champs can say we're going to give a record-breaking contract to our best player, then it sure seems to me there's pressure on the 49ers to do the same thing and give a record-breaking deal -- albeit at the tight end position -- to their best player," Maiocco said.
The pressure already was on in Santa Clara to avoid a Super Bowl hangover. Now, the same goes with keeping Kittle a 49er for years to come.
Patrick Mahomes contract could put pressure on 49ers signing George Kittle originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area