Kittle channels Ric Flair after becoming NFL's highest-paid tight end

After becoming the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, George Kittle's flair knows no bounds.

The San Francisco 49ers officially announced their five-year, $75 million extension with Kittle on Friday, and the former fifth-round pick made a statement that concludes with a fitting representation of his energized personality.

"I would first like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the entire 49ers organization, especially the York family, who made all of this possible. To John Lynch and the staff who selected me in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, I want to say thank you for giving me this opportunity. I love being a 49er and am blessed to have the opportunity to wear red and gold for years to come. 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.

"Thanks to my coaches and the management team. Coach Embree has helped me in so many ways, as a player and as a man. I will always be grateful to him for all he has done and he continues to do. Thanks to Coach Shanahan for making this such a rewarding place to play. I am thrilled that we will chase our ultimate goal together.

"I want to thank my family – my wife, Claire, my parents, Bruce and Jan, and my sister, Emma – for their unwavering support throughout my life and career. I thank you for the unconditional love that you provide every single day and it motivates me to be the best person I can be.

"Also, a big thank you to my agent, Jack Bechta, along with Ryan Hayes. Jack has been preparing me and my family for these negotiations for the past year, and we felt well informed and confident throughout the entire process. He has done a great job advocating on my behalf and helped secure a contract that protects me and my family. I appreciate his hard work and dedication to such an important event in my life.

"Finally, to the greatest fans in the NFL - THANK YOU! Thank you for all your support in everything we do, for cheering us on no matter what and for always being FAITHFUL. I will continue to work for all of you as we make the 2020 season another success.


'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair approves.

Kittle, 26, has amassed 2,945 receiving yards and 216 receptions since coming into the league in 2017, which are the most from a tight end's first three seasons in NFL history. Kittle has also led the league in yards gained after catch since 2017 with 1,743. At that, Kittle has gained the reputation of being a stellar run-blocking TE and was a key component to the 49ers' highly-efficient offense that made a run to Super Bowl LIV.

In a year where several NFL tight ends have been rewarded with big contracts, Kittle fittingly set the mark as the highest-paid. The man who drafted the Iowa product -- 49ers general manager John Lynch -- knows just how valuable Kittle is to the team both on and off the field.

"We are thrilled to have reached an agreement with George to keep him in red and gold well into the future," said Lynch. "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. 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."

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