There is nothing new to report on the contract front for San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle. If reports are true about teams possibly having minicamp in June, then we could see negotiations with Kittle start to pick up. If there are no fans, the loss of revenue will impact the salary cap for 2021, Albert Breer reports:
I would expect teams to be cautious in doing long-term deals with star players in the coming months, especially in situations where those teams have the flexibility to wait. The reason? If there’s a revenue shortfall this year, and the cap equation spits out a number lower than the $198.2 million figure in place from 2021, it’s pretty unlikely that the league and union will leave that as is. The potential bloodletting of pricey vets and tightened purse strings otherwise would create a one-year free-for-all. More likely would be negotiating a deal where the league would borrow cap dollars from future years, which could lead to multiple years of a flat cap (probably at least until the new TV money kicks in). For now, no one’s sure if it’ll come to that. But teams at least have to be prepared for the idea it could happen, which will lead at some teams to be conservative with their spending. And that’s without even considering that the threat of a revenue shortfall might make teams more conscious of their cap spending too.
Regarding flexibility, that’ll depend on whether Kittle is willing to take the field entering the final year of his contract, where he makes $2 million. Again, everything John Lynch has said, the team will pay Kittle. There’s no reason to believe it won’t happen. The return to the field will keep the ball rolling.
Breer noted that this would affect young non-quarterbacks, and it’ll be a little tougher financially over the next couple of months. The players Breer mentioned? Joey Bosa, Jamal Adams, and Kittle. Why? Because each player is expected to become the highest-paid player at their positions. In Kittle’s case, he’ll be the highest-paid tight end of all-time. Despite what Lynch has said, the longer Kittle goes without a new contract, the more these types of topics will continue to come up.
The hypotheticals Breer laid out are all out of the box. Borrowing cap dollars from future years is something I would have never thought of. The new TV deals were supposed to be negotiated at the end of the 2022 season. That would mean a flat cap for at least two seasons. Lynch has been so aggressive during his tenure as the 49ers general manager that a flat cap or lost revenue will only force the front office’s staff to get more creative when it comes to structuring new contracts.