George Kittle has been in the league long enough to know that every season, he’ll see roster changes on the San Francisco 49ers.
While the new additions like Javon Hargrave, Sam Darnold, Isaiah Oliver and Clelin Ferrell have excited the Niners, this is still the time of year where teammates who grow close to others inside the facility sign elsewhere. And in the case of “The People’s Tight End,” he sounded off with a heartfelt Instagram post to his now former teammates. Via his Instagram page:
“Congrats to the fellas in free agency, going out and getting a contract is a big deal. And while I am happy for them and their families, I am also sad to be losing some of my closest friends for the last 5 years. Incredible highs and lows for each of us individually, but also as a team. My respect for these guys is through the roof, and I know that they will all impact their new teams in positive ways. Cheers to the memories boys, I’ll see you down the line.”
Included in his post were a collection of photos featuring him and his now former 49ers teammates.
Recap of 49ers Free Agent Losses
While the 49ers aggressively lured in the four aforementioned free agents, they’ve lost a high number of players from the 2022 roster. Here’s a recap:
Azeez Al-Shaair: Signed with the Tennessee Titans on a one-year, $6 million deal. First reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network on Wednesday, March 15.
Daniel Brunskill: Also joining the outside linebacker Al-Shaair on a two-year deal with the Titans. Also joining former 49ers edge rusher Arden Key there.
Jimmie Ward: Accepted a two-year deal worth $13 million with the Houston Texans, where he’ll rejoin DeMeco Ryans.
Hassan Ridgeway: Also heading to the Texans, but on a one-year, $4 million contract.
Charles Omenihu: Accepted a two-year deal for $20 million with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Emmanuel Moseley: Signed a one-year, $6 million with the Detroit Lions.
Maurice Hurst: Joining the Cleveland Browns through a one-year deal.
Samson Ebukam: Agreed to a three-year deal worth $27 million with the Indianapolis Colts, where he’ll join Ex-49ers interior rusher DeForest Buckner.
Mike McGlinchey: The right tackle signed a blockbuster five-year, $87.5 million deal with the Denver Broncos, who have Ex-49ers K’Waun Williams and D.J. Jones. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport added McGlinchey is getting $50 million guaranteed.
Jimmy Garoppolo: Was officially signed to a three-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders on Friday, March 17. Deal is worth $67.5 million.
Tarvarius Moore: Latest 49ers departure — who agreed to a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers Friday afternoon.
Former Teammates Respond to Kittle
Kittle’s inspiring post didn’t come without any reactions under the caption of his photo gallery. Some of his former teammates sounded off.
McGlinchey, who lined up next to Kittle on the 49ers line, responded with heart emojis. Meanwhile, two of the defensive free agents for the 49ers posted worded reactions to the All-Pro tight end.
“We can still hang out together in Nashville,” Al-Shaair said. Nashville was also the location of Kittle’s “Tight End University” annual event in 2022.
The cornerback Moseley added: “Going to miss you bro it’s been a pleasure.”