“The People’s tight end” will go from earning $1,250,000 in 2021 to $1,035,000 according to Spotrac.
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Why the cut in pay? Kittle chose to sacrifice money for the betterment of the 49ers — restructuring his five-year, $75 million deal he signed back in 2020 that made him the NFL’s richest tight end back in March 2022. In return, the 49ers managed to not only lure in Charvarius Ward during free agency or sign their 2022 draft class, but ensure Deebo Samuel was about to get paid.
In 2023, though, Kittle’s base salary is projected to inflate to $11,650,000. Then build to $13.4 million for 2024.
Which leaves this question: Is Kittle concerned that the 49ers would try to “squeeze” more money out of him?
Kittle Addresses Money Aspect
Speaking with Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday, August 24, the longtime NFL columnist asked the All-Pro that money question due to concern that the standout tight end can’t stay healthy. After all, he’s only had one season of playing a full slate of games: His second season in 2018, also his first Pro Bowl year.
“I’m not really concerned with it at all,” he told Silver. “I could give two s—-, honestly. If there comes a day when they feel like that, it is what it is, and it’s a business. I know there’s a right way and a wrong way to play football, and I’m gonna play it the way that I think is right. You’re never gonna be able to question my intent nor my effort on the tape.”
Kittle continued, with the hope it’s the 49ers who continue to pay him down the road.
“Whoever it is that wants to do that and give me money, I think somebody will want to do that. Hopefully, it’s the 49ers, because I love being here and I love everything about this organization. I think they’ve built a fantastic team with high-character guys,” Kittle said.
The now 28-year-old All-Pro also learned what teams like the 49ers don’t want on the roster.
“One thing I’ve learned is you don’t really want d——-s on your team, and we have not had a lot of d——-s, or they’ve gotten rid of d——–s pretty quickly, and I’ve really appreciated that,” Kittle said.
What’s Kittle’s Plan for 2022?
While Kittle has dealt with a myriad of injuries in his career, there are those wondering how much he can play at such a high level…or if he needs to change his playing style to extend his career.
Kittle, though, doesn’t plan on changing. He wants to inflict the same caliber of punishment on defenses since his arrival to the league in 2017 — which will energize the 49ers Faithful.
“Football’s a violent sport,” Kittle told Silver. “I think there are some instances where you can protect yourself — like, hey, there are two guys running at you and there’s zero yards available, then sure, you can go down or you can get out of bounds. But if I have a one-on-one opportunity, I’m gonna lower my shoulder and I’m gonna try to run through somebody. It is what it is: I’m gonna still rumble, bumble and tumble, baby.”