Since the draft is a long way off, and time will march slowly toward September, the 49ers announced that George Kittle won the Len Eshmont award, an award for the most inspirational player voted on by the players. DeForest Buckner was awarded the Bill Walsh award, one that is voted on by the coaching staff.
Both of these guys of course are looking at the last year of their rookie deals as well. Both look to make a lot more money as the 49ers will almost certainly work contract extensions for both of these guys as waiting until the deals are done would hit the cap harder for the team, and not sit well with either of them besides.
Both are at the top of their positions in the NFL, and certainly Kittle, who is the pre-eminent tight end in the league now, looks to blow past Jimmy Graham’s $10 mill a year mark with something approaching $14 mill if you believe the scuttlebut floating around. But Skittles is way down the pay scale as he wasa 5th round pick and makes around $2.15 mill on the last year of his deal. Buckner however, is already going to make $15.5 million on his 5th year option. He’s hit the bank this year, but looks to get a long-term extension done.
Bucker is in the Fletcher Cox, Grady Jarrett range of dominating interior linemen, and they both make $17 mill per. You have to think something in the $17.5/ $18 mill 4 year extension is in the realm of possibility. One would like to think they both work out team friendly deals that allow other players to be signed as they try to keep the train on track, but time will tell. And we have a lot of that.