George Kittle needs to learn the first rule of negotiation: Never show your cards, especially to your coach’s wife.
The 49ers tight end was in Cabo San Lucas along with 49ers teammates Nick Mullens, Trent Taylor, Levine Toilolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan when he confided in Shanahan’s wife, Mandy.
“He told my wife how much he liked it here [with the 49ers],” Kyle Shanahan said via The Athletic. “He told my wife to promise not to tell me.”
Naturally, Mandy spilled the tea to her husband.
“After he was gone, she told me,” Shanahan said. “She’s my wife.”
The statement could cost Kittle negotiating leverage during his ongoing contract talks.
Kittle, 26, was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft from the University of Iowa. He has earned an average of $555,000 per year on a standard rookie contract thus far, which will jump to $2.14 million in 2020 according to Spotrac.
The two-time Pro Bowler caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 2019. Widely regarded as one of the league’s top talents, Kittle is expected to become the highest-paid tight end with his next contract extension, which could be valued at over $12 million per annum. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce currently owns that distinction with an annual base salary of $8 million.