However, Rapoport says it doesn’t feel like the two sides are particularly close on anything in terms of reaching an agreement.
The state of the tight end market is one complicating factor, per Rapoport. Franchise-tagged Chargers TE Hunter Henry currently leads the position at $10.6 million and the Browns signed TE Austin Hooper to a deal this offseason that averaged $10.5 million a year.
Kittle’s agent, though, appears to be pushing for a significant change to the market on behalf of his client, arguing Kittle’s impact as a receiver alone should push him toward the second tier of the wide receiver market at around $16 million a year.
“I knew it might be tricky because of the position he plays & finding the right number,” 49ers GM John Lynch said Tuesday. “People should be encouraged we’ve had tremendous talks with his representative and we work real well together.”
Mike Garafolo previously reported that Kittle will “blow the lid off” the top of the tight end market and $13 million per season could end up being the floor for negotiations.
Lynch has remained steadfastly optimistic the two sides will be able to work something out to keep Kittle in San Francisco.
Kittle, 26, is a former fifth-round pick of the 49ers out of Iowa back in 2017. He’s entering the final year of his four-year, $2.69 million contract and stands to make a base salary of $735,000 in 2020.
In 2019, Kittle appeared in 14 games for the 49ers and caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards receiving and five touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Kittle as the news is available.