49ers negotiations with George Kittle might be tougher than anticipated

The agent for 49ers star George Kittle says he isn’t looking to make Kittle the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.

He’s looking for more.

“I don’t care about the tight end market,” Kittle’s agent, Jack Bechta, told NFL Network. “I’m being paid to do a George Kittle deal.”

Kittle was first-team All-Pro in 2019, his third season in the league. He caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. It was the second banner season in a row for the fifth-round pick out of Iowa. In 2018, he caught 88 passes for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games.

Kittle, 26, is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which will pay $735,000 in 2020.

Among tight ends, Hunter Henry of the Chargers will make $10.6 million next season after being franchise-tagged. Austin Hooper of the Cleveland Browns (and Stanford via De La Salle), signed last month for four years and $42 million.

According to NFL Network, there were preliminary negotiations between the 49ers and Kittle in February, but there has been little, if any, talk the past couple of months. The coronavirus pandemic could be a factor in that.

“George isn’t going anywhere,” 49ers GM John Lynch said last month. “George is going to be a part of the 49ers for a long, long time.”

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Author: Bud Geracie