Thu Aug 13 12:04pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle (85) catches a pass in front of Kansas City Chiefs' Daniel Sorensen during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. The play was called back on a penalty by Kittle. Kittle has agreed to a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers that reportedly is the richest contract ever at the position. A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, on the deal to keep Kittle off the market next offseason. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
All-Pro tight end George Kittle has agreed to a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers that reportedly is the richest contract ever at the position.
A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed Thursday on the deal to keep Kittle off the market next offseason. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn't been announced by the team.
NFL Network reported that the deal will be worth $75 million and includes an $18 million signing bonus.
Locking up Kittle was a high priority this offseason for the Niners and they were able to get it done two days before the first full team practice at training camp.
Kittle had been one of the NFL's biggest bargains after being drafted in the fifth round in 2017 and now he gets the biggest contract ever at the position. The previous high for annual value on a multiyear contract for a tight end, according to overthecap.com, was the $42 million, four-year deal Austin Hooper signed this offseason in Cleveland.
Hunter Henry is playing this season for the Chargers on a $10.6 million franchise tag.
The Niners could have used the tag on Kittle the next two offseasons, but instead managed to work out a long-term deal that satisfied both sides.
Kittle has been the most productive tight end in NFL history through his first three seasons with 197 catches for 2,664 yards. But he is almost equally as skilled as a blocker in the run game where he is a key piece in coach Kyle Shanahan's dynamic offense.
After a solid rookie season, Kittle broke through in 2018 when he set an NFL record for yards receiving in a season for tight ends when he had 88 catches for 1,377 yards and was named a second-team All-Pro.
He was almost as productive last season despite missing two games with injuries when he had 85 catches for 1,053 yards and was a first-team All-Pro. He also was a major reason the Niners went 13-3 on the way to a Super Bowl appearance.
It has been quite a start to a career for a player who caught only 48 passes in 25 college games at Iowa, leading him to fall to the fifth round of the draft.
The Niners believed in his athleticism and potential and were surprised he lasted beyond the third round. But they were very fortunate he was there at 146th overall as the ninth tight end selected in that draft.
August 5th: ADP Value
The Kansas City Chiefs and tight end Travis Kelce agreed to a four-year, $57.25 million extension on Thursday, including $28 million in guarantees according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The All-Pro tight end had two years and $46 million remaining on his original deal, which was signed back in January of 2016. The Chiefs have spent big to keep their explosive core together this offseason as they doled out a 10-year extension to quarterback Patrick Mahomes that could be worth around $500 million. Kelce led all tight ends in 2019 with 97 catches and 1,229 receiving yards. He should be the second tight end off the board in fantasy drafts after San Francisco's George Kittle.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is already expected to play a pivotal role in the offense in 2020. The first-round draft pick may not have the blow-away speed of departed receiver Stefon Diggs, but is a versatile route-runner who can play outside or in the slot. The Vikings have been decimated on the defensive side of the football this past offseason, putting more of an onus on the offense to step up. The absence of preseason games creates a challenge for fantasy owners to properly scout rookies before drafts. But Jefferson figures to have a role early on, making him an intriguing late-round fantasy option.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller enters training camp trying to put 2019 behind him after disappointing last season. The third-year receiver caught seven touchdowns during his rookie season in 2018 and Miller's future looked very bright. But Miller endured a sloppy training camp and struggled to see the field the first month of the season. He did rebound and finished the season with 52 receptions for 656 yards but caught only two touchdowns. Bears receivers coach Mike Furrey has made a litany of comments in the offseason about Miller's preparation but has praised, thus far, what he has seen. He's trying to learn. He's dropped the ego of this whole Memphis thing. Now he's coming here and learning from Allen Robinson, asking Allen Robinson, watching Allen Robinson," Furrey told reporters. "If you're starting to do that stuff, you're definitely heading in the right direction and starting to grow individually.'' Miller will be the definition of boom-or-bust heading into fantasy drafts.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw to receivers on Wednesday but the real competition for the starting job begins on Friday when full-padded practices begin. Head coach Matt Nagy has intimated that the decision could come sooner than later with the condensed training camp schedule hindering the team's ability to get a full picture. To this point, Trubisky has said all the right things and has been praised for his preparation in zoom meetings. Even if he wins the job out of camp, Trubisky's leash will be extremely short with backup Nick Foles breathing down his neck heading into the team's Week 1 battle against the Lions.
Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles has already been praised by head coach Matt Nagy for "improving the quarterback room" as the team prepares for full-padded practice starting next week. Foles was acquired from the Jaguars in the offseason to not only compete with incumbent starter Mitch Trubisky, but perhaps snatch the starter's job from him. Foles had a disastrous season in 2019, breaking his collarbone in Week 1 and then underperformed when he returned to action in Week 11. The veteran has a history of poor quarterback play when given the keys to an offense right out of the gate but also has shown to be one of the greatest off-the-bench passer's in recent history. If Foles wins the starting job in Chicago, he still lacks any kind of fantasy appeal outside of two quarterback leagues.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will look to take a step forward in his second NFL season, and will be doing so with a new offensive coordinator in former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. In his first public comments since being hired in January, Garrett raved about the sophomore-signal caller's work ethic and the work Jones put in to learn the offense without the two being able to meet face-to-face due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jones showed huge upside last season with five-300 yard passing games and three games with four-plus touchdowns. His main issue was turnovers as he threw 12 picks and fumbled a league-leading 18 times. Garrett had great success with Dak Prescott, so expect him to help Jones improve in year two making him a good QB to target if waiting on the position in drafts.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle agreed to a five-year, $75 million extension Thursday, Aug. 13, that includes an $18 million signing bonus. The contract language is still being worked out.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle is an elite tight end that should be among the top two or three taken universally in fantasy.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle signed a five-year $75 million contract with $40 million guaranteed. The $15 million per season average makes Kittle the highest-paid tight end in the league by a wide margin over Hunter Henry's $10.6 million franchise-tag deal. Kittle caught 85-plus passes and gained 1,000-plus yards each of the past two seasons in becoming arguably the best tight end in football. The 26-year-old was named a First-Team All-Pro last season and now will be locked-into Kyle Shanahan's offense in San Francisco that was fourth in the NFL in total offense last year. Kittle should be one of the top-two tight ends drafted in fantasy within the top-25 picks.
Free-agent DT P.J. Hall (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Houston Texans Thursday, Aug. 13.
Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Everson Griffen agreed to a one-year deal with a $3 million base salary and includes $3 million in potential roster bonuses.
Free-agent DL Ziggy Ansah (Seahawks) was offered a one-year, $910,000 minimum salary by the San Francisco 49ers, but it wasn't enough for Ansah to sign.
Seattle Seahawks LB K.J. Wright (shoulder) had a 'marvelous' recovery from shoulder surgery and was able to practice Wednesday, Aug. 12, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
Free-agent DE Everson Griffen (Vikings) agreed to terms with the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday, Aug. 12, according to a source.
The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen to a contract on Wednesday evening. Griffen had spent over a decade with the Minnesota Vikings and had multiple suitors during free agency. The veteran lineman has recorded 74.5 sacks across his past 77 games and adds an extra pass-rushing element to the Cowboys' defense. The unit gave up the 11th-fewest points per game last season, but also lost Robert Quinn and Byron Jones over the summer. The Cowboys project to be a middle-of-the-pack DST unit in 2020.
Updating a previous source, free-agent TE Luke Stocker (Falcons) is expected to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons, according to a source Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner said Wednesday, Aug. 12, he never considered opting out, despite the fact he's a high-risk player as a cancer survivor. 'Going on four years now removed from cancer,' Conner said. 'I didn't really have to talk to my family. It was never a concern for me. I've been healthy for years now. It was an easy decision for me. I never really gave much thought to it. I'm healthy and my immune system is back healthy. I'm not worried.'
Fantasy Spin: Conner stands to have a good bounce-back season with QB Ben Roethlisberger back under center for the Steelers. He totaled just 464 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 116 carries over 10 games in 2019. This is also a contract season for him, and he should be targeted as a low-tier RB2.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (personal) is away from the team right now while dealing with family matters, according to head coach Pete Carroll Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Updating a previous story, Jacksonville Jaguars TE James O'Shaughnessy (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) officially signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, Aug. 12. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Free-agent DT Timmy Jernigan (Eagles) is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the near future, according to sources. Jernigan visited the Jaguars Wednesday, Aug. 12.