Contract talks can get ugly. The list of relationships between a player and team that have been soured over a few dollars here and an extra year there is miles long.
Jack Bechta wasn't going to let that happen with George Kittle and the 49ers.
As Bechta and 49ers general manager John Lynch went through the grueling process of working out a contract extension for the tight end, Bechta asked the 49ers not to speak with Kittle about the negotiations in any manner.
"I had told John at one point early on, I said, 'Hey John, I just want to state for the record that I do not want anyone talking to George about his contract in the organization. No one. If it's not football-related I don't want anyone talking to him about it. I want to preserve George's relationship with his coaches,'" Bechta told 95.7 The Game's "Koz, Lo and Dibs" on Tuesday. "You know, Kyle [Shanahan] and him kind of have a mind-meld. They are a great match. He is an offensive savant who runs a tight end-friendly offense.
"So, I want those two to have a very good relationship. John and I agreed that no matter how ugly things get let's protect that and preserve it on both sides. From George's stance, he's like, 'I just don't want any awkwardness between coaches and myself. You do what you got to do but let's leave that out of it.'"
Bechta did admit he had Lynch go talk to Kittle at one point to remove a roadblock in the negotiation, and that helped get the negotiations moving en route to the star tight end signing the record-breaking five-year, $75 million contract.
[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
The 49ers drafted Kittle in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft and he has blossomed into the best tight end in the NFL in three seasons. Kittle is the only tight end in franchise history to record over 1,000 yards receiving in a season and he set the NFL record for most yards by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377.
Kittle has been a perfect match for Shanahan's offensive system. He not only provides quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with a dynamic pass-catching weapon who can be moved all around the field, but also is one of the best run-blocking tight ends in football, making him a massive asset to the 49ers' run-heavy attack.
The contract negotiations weren't easy. Kittle had little leverage as the 49ers could have forced him to play out the 2020 season for $2.133 million and then franchise-tagged if the negotiations didn't progress. But the 49ers know how important Kittle is to their quest to return to the Super Bowl and know the kind of message it sends to the rest of the team to reward their best player in an appropriate manner.
The 49ers spent this offseason locking up Kittle, Shanahan and Lynch to long-term extensions.
All happy and on the same page, the trio is ready to get to work on returning to the Super Bowl and bringing a Lombardi Trophy back to Santa Clara.
Why agent didn't want 49ers talking to George Kittle about negotiations originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area