Fri Aug 14 8:10pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle (85) catches a pass in front of Kansas City Chiefs' Daniel Sorensen during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. The play was called back on a penalty by Kittle. Kittle has agreed to a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers that reportedly is the richest contract ever at the position. A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, on the deal to keep Kittle off the market next offseason. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
In this Jan. 19, 2020, file photo, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after beating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFL NFC Championship football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Kittle has agreed to a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers that reportedly is the richest contract ever at the position. A person familiar with the deal says the sides agreed Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, on the deal to keep Kittle off the market next offseason. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) All-Pro tight end George Kittle has signed his five-year, $75 million extension with the San Francisco 49ers that is the richest contract ever at the position.
Kittle officially signed the deal Friday, a day after agreeing to the contract that keeps him locked up in San Francisco through the 2025 season.
''I love being a 49er and am blessed to have the opportunity to wear red and gold for years to come,'' Kittle said in a statement. ''I can't wait to continue our quest to bring another Super Bowl back to the bay.
''I want to thank my teammates for their hard work and help in making me be the best teammate, player and man I can be each week. Together we have already accomplished amazing things, but we all know there is still so much more to do. It's an incredible locker room to be a part of and I am grateful to my brothers for making this such a fun and exciting place to play football.''
Kittle also thanked his coaches, ownership, general manager John Lynch, his family and agent Jack Bechta. The deal includes an $18 million signing bonus and $30 million fully guaranteed.
Kittle had been one of the NFL's biggest bargains after being drafted in the fifth round in 2017 and now he gets the biggest contract ever at the position. The previous high for average salary for a tight end, according to overthecap.com, was the $10.6 million Hunter Henry is getting from the Chargers this season on the franchise tag.
Kansas City's Travis Kelce agreed to a four-year, $57.25 million extension shortly after Kittle's deal was finalized Thursday.
The Niners could have used the tag on Kittle the next two offseasons, but instead managed to work out a long-term deal that satisfied both sides.
''George was part of our first draft class and represents as well as anyone the core values we covet in the players we build our team with,'' Lynch said. ''His talent and spirit are unique, his will and grit contagious and his production undeniable. We can't wait to see what the future holds for George and our team with him a part of it.''
Kittle has been the most productive tight end in NFL history through his first three seasons with 197 catches for 2,664 yards. But he is almost equally as skilled as a blocker in the run game where he is a key piece in coach Kyle Shanahan's dynamic offense.
The Niners averaged 5.0 yards per carry last season with Kittle on the field, compared to 3.5 yards per carry without him, according to NFL NextGen stats.
After a solid rookie season, Kittle broke through in 2018 when he set an NFL record for yards receiving in a season for tight ends when he had 88 catches for 1,377 yards and was named a second-team All-Pro.
He was almost as productive last season, despite missing two games with injuries, when he had 85 catches for 1,053 yards and was a first-team All-Pro. He also was a major reason the Niners went 13-3 on the way to a Super Bowl appearance.
It has been quite a start to a career for a player who caught only 48 passes in 25 college games at Iowa, leading him to fall to the fifth round of the draft.
The Niners believed in his athleticism and potential and were surprised he lasted beyond the third round. But they were very fortunate he was there at 146th overall as the ninth tight end selected in that draft.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
Free-agent safety Earl Thomas III was set to have a workout with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, but COVID-19 related protocol scuttled that meeting. Things had advanced so far between the two sides that Thomas had already taken a physical with the organization. Released by Baltimore during pre-season activities following an altercation with a teammate, the seven-time Pro Bowler would be a sound addition to the Houston secondary. With the workout cancelled Tuesday, it does throw into flux the possibility that Thomas could be available this weekend when the Texans take on Minnesota. Having allowed at least 28 points in each of their first three contests, the Texans defense is currently not a fantasy option in any-sized format.
The Los Angeles Chargers placed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday and promoted defensive back Jahleel Addae to the active roster in a corresponding move. Harris suffered a foot injury in the Week 3 loss to the Panthers that is expected to keep him out for at least a month and potentially up to six weeks. With All-Pro safety Derwin James (knee) already out for the year, it's another blow to a strong Chargers secondary. The good news is that Harris will be back this season. Against a strong Buccaneers passing attack this Sunday, the Chargers Defense could be a bit more vulnerable, especially against wide receiver Chris Godwin in the middle of the field.
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 29. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (quad), CB Davontae Harris (hamstring) and RB Phillip Lindsay (foot) were limited. CB Bryce Callahan (wrist), DE Shelby Harris (neck, quad), S Kareem Jackson (back) and S Trey Marshall (wrist) practiced in full. The Broncos did not hold a practice Tuesday, so the report was an estimation.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll be out at least three weeks. In a corresponding move, the team signed tight end Hakeem Butler to the active roster off the Panthers practice squad. Goedert has a small fracture in his left ankle and also an ankle sprain. He'll be back this year, though, and was a big part of the team's passing game before going down, so he's worth stashing if you have the extra roster space. A banged-up Philly receiving corps will now rely more heavily on Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson, if he's healthy to go in Week 4. Greg Ward Jr. might be worth a flier off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a foot injury Tuesday, Sept. 29. S Jahleel Addae was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Carolina Panthers S Natrell Jamerson was activated from the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list and returned to the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent S Earl Thomas (Ravens) has already taken in offsite physical - likely in preparation to sign with the Houston Texans - but the Texans sent him home before his scheduled workout after the NFL asked all 32 teams to review their COVID-19 procedures for bringing in new players, according to sources.
Free-agent PKs Kai Forbath and Elliott Fry are expected to work out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Fantasy Spin: Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the "hope" is that Goedert can return at the end of his three-week IR stint, although it sounds like it is far from a guarantee. In the meantime, his absence should lock Zach Ertz into nearly 10 targets per game for an offense that may need Greg Ward to handle a similar workload given all the injuries at receiver. Owners should hold onto Goedert, as he has incredible upside at a position that lacks a lot of it for fantasy purposes.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards was elevated from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Falcons also released CB D.J. White and LB Deone Bucannon from the practice squad.
Atlanta Falcons CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a hamstring injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien is expected to get the start on Thursday against the Jets over Jeff Driskel, according to sources. Driskel looked terrible, albeit against a strong Buccaneers Defense, in the Week 3 loss, and Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss at least another week of action while he recovers from his injury. Rypien, 24, saw his first game action last Sunday with the game out of hand, going 8-for-9 for 53 yards and one interception. Even against a Jets Defense that has looked terrible, Rypien won't have much upside in an offense missing their top receiver for the rest of the season. Downgrade rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant for this one. If Rypien struggles early, don't be surprised if Denver goes back to Driskel.
Washington Football Team DE Matt Ioannidis (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 29. DE Nate Orchard was signed off the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) may not be able to play in either of the team's next two games as he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 3 versus the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: It appears he would have an outside chance of playing in Week 5, but the Buccaneers are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears two Thursdays from now. With Scott Miller (hip, groin) batting his own injury issues, Justin Watson could be thrust into action as Mike Evans' tag-team partner in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If that ends up being the case, Watson should probably be considered a low-end flex option.
There is a chance that Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) could play in Week 5 against the Patriots, but the Broncos have more hope that he'll return in Week 6 in a more favorable matchup against the Dolphins. This is why Denver didn't place the 23-year-old on short-term Injured Reserve. The offense was just unable to get into any kind of flow in Week 3 against a tough Buccaneers Defense, and it also doesn't help that wide receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is lost for the season. Lock's return should make rookie Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant more attractive in season-long and DFS leagues, but the second-year signal-caller will remain a midrange QB2 until further notice with the Broncos dealing with so many injuries. Until Lock returns, Jeff Driskel is a desperation QB2 streamer in superflex setups.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and offensive tackle George Fant (concussion) will all be limited in Tuesday's walkthrough practice. All three players are trending toward playing on Thursday night against the Broncos. It's good news for a Jets offense that has been pitiful without Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell the last two games. If Crowder suits up this week, he should be quarterback Sam Darnold's top aerial target, which would put him on the flex radar in PPR leagues. Crowder could see even more targets if Breshad Perriman misses another contest with his injury.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Damon Arnette (thumb) is visiting a thumb specialist on Tuesday after he injured it in the Week 3 loss to the Patriots, and he could be sidelined up to six weeks. In a worst-case scenario, Arnette would be placed on Injured Reserve. The first-round pick fractured the same thumb in training camp, so this is certainly something to watch moving forward. Either way, Arnette should be able to return this year for the Raiders secondary. The 24-year-old has been improving and has tallied 14 tackles (11 solo) and one pass defensed in the first three games of his NFL career.
Free-agent WR Jermaine Kearse (Lions) announced his retirement Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a small fracture in his ankle that will keep him out multiple weeks. He's not expected to require surgery.
Fantasy Spin: Goedert's absence will force the Eagles to rely more on Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders. Richard Rodgers could see a few looks, but it's not enough to move the needle in fantasy.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a left ankle fracture and not a sprained ankle, according to an NFL source. Head coach Doug Pederson said that Goedert will be out for an extended period of time, but the source said the timeline for a return shouldn't be too lengthy. Everything will depend on how Goedert's recovery goes. It's bad news for those that roster Goedert, as he had 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the first two games before getting injured after just six snaps in the Week 3 tie with the Bengals. Zach Ertz should see his target share increase with Goedert out, especially since Philly's receiving corps is really banged up. If you have the room, Goedert is worth stashing in an Injured Reserve spot since he should return at some point in 2020.