Niners’ George Kittle thinks one NFL player deserves a big raise: Chiefs’ Travis Kelce

·2 min read
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Tight End U is returning this year and it’s clear who the star instructor will be at the event.

For one weekend next month in Nashville, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle will welcome roughly four dozen tight ends to share ideas on the position, get to know one another and learn from some of the NFL’s best.

Kittle was on NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk show on Friday night to discuss Tight End U, and Mike Florio asked if there is a tight end who stands out.

Without much thought, Kittle said Kelce, and added the Chiefs star is underpaid.

“I mean Travis Kelce, six seasons in a row, a thousand yards,” Kittle said. “I’m pretty sure he has the most receiving yards over any wide receiver, skill position in the last six years. And he gets paid half of what a wide receiver makes, which just boggles my mind. I mean, to me, Travis Kelce, he’s been doing it for so long and at such a high level. And he doesn’t have an off game. I think he has one bad game a year, and it’s just because he’s getting triple-teamed.

“He’s a player I look at like, when he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a monster. It’s fun, too. More tight ends and more tight ends are starting to get the ball more, starting to be more part of the offense, be more explosive. I love watching Darren Waller. I love watching Mark Andrews. (Zach) Ertz is really fun now down in Arizona. That’s just fun to see him just kind of dominate, getting a lot of touchdowns. (T.J.) Hockenson, (Robert) Tonyan. There’s all these tight ends that are explosive and fun to watch, but Kelce — when you have six thousand yards in a row, you’re a hell of a football player.”

Florio noted how the wide-receiver market went crazy this offseason with huge deals given to former Chiefs star Tyreek Hill, the Raiders’ Davante Adams and the Jaguars’ Christian Kirk.

While Hill received an extension from the Dolphins that will pay him $120 million over four years, including $72.2 million guaranteed, Kelce is set to make $13.25 million this year, per Spotrac.

“I dunno. I would say every NFL team that’s won a Super Bowl or been to the Super Bowl for like the last five years has had an All-Pro tight end a part of the team,” Kittle said about the pay disparity. “I feel a tight end’s not just like a cog in the wheel, it’s an important position that can really add to your offense or diminish it.”