George Kittle's well-earned raise is coming, the 49ers' brass asserted Monday.
Exactly when will the All-Pro tight end strike a contract extension? It did not happened before Monday's first team meeting of training camp, but Kittle did meet with head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
"I feel really good about this going forward. I feel very optimistic about it," Shanahan said on a video conference with reporters. "Hopefully something will happen sooner than later. Not too concerned about it, though."
The 49ers did lock up a potential blockbuster, tag-team partner for Kittle, agreeing to a one-year contract with former Washington tight end Jordan Reed, his agent confirmed.
Reed missed last season after sustaining his seventh concussion. If healthy, he and Kittle would make a formidable duo in an offense that often deploys two tight ends, especially if the 49ers start the season without wide receiver Deebo Samuel because of a foot injury.
Kittle is entering the final year of his rookie contract, at a $2.15 million salary, which is about $13 million less than the potential annual average of a new deal.
"We don't have to say how important George is to us, not only as the best tight end in the league but also the type of person he is," Shanahan said. "We're doing everything we can to get that done. I do feel good about it. It was great to see George for the first time (of camp)."
Monday marked the 49ers' first, in-person reunion since heading into the offseason after their Super Bowl defeat, and Shanahan said his team meeting was devoted to discussing COVID-19 safety protocols, adding: "Football doesn't matter if you don't handle COVID right."
How the 49ers handle Kittle's extension is paramount to their salary cap concerns and teamwide perception for rewarding homegrown stars. Lynch did not provide any timeline on a deal's potential deadline.
"There's a great understanding we're in this thing together, we're partners to try to get something done, because it makes too much sense not to," Lynch said.