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Kittle, Kelce Agree to Extensions

Another day, another big contract, this time setting a record for tight ends. George Kittle will get a $75 million extension over five years. No details yet, although reports say "more than half" is guaranteed. Kittle is Rob Gronkowski's successor as the most complete tight end in football, a YAC force as a receiver who's also a wicked blocker. This outpaces Austin Hooper's four-year, $52 million contract set during free agency, although Kittle couldn't get as much as the top wide receivers, probably because San Francisco always could have just franchised him for a couple of years thanks to the fact that the franchise tag for tight ends is much lower than it is for wide receivers.

UPDATE: It's tight end money day! Now Travis Kelce has also agreed to a new contract extension, with more details to follow. Ian Rapoport says it is between $14 and $15 million annually in new money average. (It ends up being $57 million in new money, so $14.25 million annually.) It adds four years onto the two years Kelce already had remaining with the Chiefs.

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Comments

19 comments, Last at 15 Aug 2020, 2:14am

4 Where would u draw the line…

Where would u draw the line at? Is he ahead of Hill, OBJ, Julio, or Thomas? Obviously scheme and QB plays a role in this. 

 

Another overlooked point, I think Kittle is probably used at 60% capacity on most offenses, something that's not true for Evans or Adams

5 Off the cuff, I think I'd…

Off the cuff, I think I'd take Hill, Thomas, and Julio (for now) ahead of Kittle. Hopkins roughly on par with him. Probably Adams next. Beckham farther back due to "what have you done for me lately" concerns.

Good point about SF making especially good use of Kittle. If you picked a team at random and asked "With their current coaching staff and roster, would you rather add Kittle or Hopkins?" probably a majority should go with Hopkins (and maybe even also Adams over Kittle). But SF is better off with Kittle than they would be with Hopkins, IMO. And starting a team from scratch (with a good coaching staff & front office who you trust to make good use of its best players) it would be a close call which to go with.

19 Mike Sando published an…

Mike Sando published an article today at The Athletic where he shares a couple NFL evaluators' answers to this question. One evaluator put 5 WRs ahead of Kittle: Julio, Thomas, Hill, Evans, and Hopkins. "The second evaluator had a similar number with lots of overlap while mentioning a couple other wideouts he liked and might consider, including Keenan Allen and Davante Adams." So pretty similar to my answer, although not quite as high on Kittle.

6 Well...

For Kittle $15m AAV is less than CMC JUST got and the same as Zeke. Obviously he's better values than those contracts. Compared to WRs, that'd slot into 12th with Davante Adams just below at $14.5m and right under Jarvis Landrys $15.1m.

I dont think that's outrageous at all. He's the best TE just by about everyones opinion/standard. And with the report of it being $15.8m AAV (but with 6 years) yesterday, it actually could be steal, especially when guys like Davante are UFAs in 2 years. I mean he does have the most rec yards for a TE in their first 3 years, and he's missed 3 games too (and came off the bench in 8). 

I can see the counter argument but, eh, pay your great players, especially at a valuable positions (or rather valuable traits like (deep, compared to RBs at least) pass catching, and as we know he's not too shabby at blocking either so, yeah, pay him). 

If he was fighting for Julio money, $22m, then yeah you fight back with positional value, but he was always going to break the TE market, were they going to fight over a few bucks? Dont piss him off like that imo and just deal with the consequences later.

8 I wasn't trying to imply it…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I wasn't trying to imply it was a bad deal. In fact I think given the type of team they are and scheme they run, paying him was a no brainer. I am just a bit astonished that his value is placed at something like the 12th best receiver in the NFL. 

I know salaries are an imperfect measure for gauging values, especially when the nature of his original contract means hes willing to trade more money today for less total money overall. That ends up working out for both parties I guess(I think rookie contracts should be 2 years + a team option). 

Even still, his contract is suggesting hes 30% less valuable than Julio and the 12th most valuable receiver in the NFL. Seems wrong to me. 

10 Like, that value is too high?

Because he is 13th in total rec yards among all players since he entered the league. Add in the fact he's a better blocker then everyone in front of him and I can see 12th. His 2945 yards/Julios 4515 does = 65%. So 35% less valuable in rec yards but + 5% blocking, so yeah 30% doesn't sound that bad. And FWIW he does have a higher Y/Tgt than Julio and everyone else above him sans Tyreek. Seems about right with me. Maybe a few bucks off but still within the standard deviation. Can't imagine the structure is that bad though. 

12 He's the best TE just by…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

He's the best TE just by about everyones opinion/standard. 

Based on what? His numbers say he's basically a Kelce clone, and essentially a healthier, slightly less efficient Hunter Henry. Jared Cook has better numbers across the board, both at Oakland and NO.

15 Kittle is also considered to…

Kittle is also considered to be one of the best blockers -- if not the best blocker -- at the position. Kelce and Henry... are not.

I know blocking is considered "less essential" for TEs than it used to be, but it's still a significant part of the job. Kittle's the only guy in the league who has a reasonable argument for the top spot in both areas. So even if you don't think he's quite the top receiving TE, the fact that the other folks in the conversation for that honor are way behind him as a blocker makes it a pretty easy call.

7 I wonder

What do people (mostly casuals) think of the value of Kelces 4 year extension compared to Dion Dawkins 4 year extension (Bills LT). Good litmus test.

9 Most casuals will have never…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Most casuals will have never heard of Dawkins and thus say for sure the Kelce one is a no brainer.

I am again curious as to how people value Left Tackles and Tight Ends. In a way they are sort of the inverse of one another. Having a horrible left tackle can torpedo your offense, but as you go up in quality, you seem to be getting diminishing returns. I am not convinced the difference between an elite left tackle and a good one is all that important honestly. 

The opposite feels true for a tight end. Even having the worst tight end out there is probably a minor hinderance. But there is a huge difference between a solid tight end like Eric Ebron vs Jason Kelce. 

 

11 True

But if you led by saying LT some might say something like "oh anyone can catch passes from Mahomes but if Josh Allen doesn't get any blocking...!" (he'll, what, still suck at passing? lol)