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    Why Is 49ers Tight End George Kittle Featured on Netflix’s ‘Receiver’ Show?

    Netflix's new series "Receiver" gives a behind-the-scenes look at four wide receivers and one tight end. Why is 49ers TE George Kittle featured on the show?

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    Published on July 9, 2024 | 9:00 AM EDT

    After the popularity of Netflix’s “Quarterback” series last year, they decided to return with a spin-off called “Receiver.”

    While the show is titled “Receiver,” it follows four wide receivers and one tight end: Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Deebo Samuel Sr., and George Kittle. Why is the San Francisco 49ers tight end featured on the show?

    Why Is TE George Kittle Featured in Netflix’s ‘Receiver’?

    While he isn’t technically a wide receiver, Kittle and other tight ends do plenty of receiving. As a result, the show is more so about NFL pass-catchers rather than just wide receivers.

    By including a tight end, “Receiver” can give a behind-the-scenes look at how a wide receiver’s role and responsibilities differ from a tight end’s.

    Kittle recently revealed how he joined the cast. Initially, he wasn’t interested. However, after watching “Quarterback” and seeing the positive attention that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins received, he changed his mind.

    “I got a call, like, literally, it was like 10 days before the first game of the season,” Kittle said on “Bussin’ With The Boys.” “They’re like, ‘Hey, would you mind if we mic’d you up, put cameras around you, and followed you to your house after games, and like occasionally we’re like in your home?’

    “I was like, ‘That seems like a lot.’ And at first, I was a hard no. I was like, ‘Absolutely not, I’m not going to do this.’ I never watched ‘Quarterback’ so finally, I went and watched it and I thought they did a fantastic job about showing enough, and it also gives you an inside look to the players.

    “Like, what about the publicity they gave Kirk Cousins? … Kirk is a fantastic person, sense of humor, family guy, and everyone fell in love with him, right? So I was like all this is going to do [is] it shows you an inside life, introduces people to your family, so I thought it was a cool thing.”

    Ultimately, Kittle said the experience ended up being better than expected.

    “They used NFL Films on, and so most of the people I was working with, I had met multiple times,” Kittle said. “They were all incredibly polite, and they were also only as invasive as you allowed them to be … and [San Francisco’s] studios handled all the in-practice stuff.”

    Netflix Approached TE Travis Kelce, But He Declined

    While Kittle is the only tight end on the show, he isn’t the only tight end who was approached by Netflix. Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce was asked to participate, but he declined the opportunity. He recently explained why on “Bussin’ With The Boys.”

    “After [Patrick Mahomes] did it, I did get asked about it,” Kelce said. “ I don’t know. I’d rather just play ball, man. … I’m already doing enough with the podcast and everything. I’m way over the reality sh*t, dude. I’m out on that sh*t.”

    Back in 2016, Kelce notably appeared on the reality TV show “Catching Kelce” on E! Entertainment Television. The show was a dating competition, and while it was a very different kind of show, Kelce made it clear that he isn’t interested in any reality TV opportunities these days.

    Kelce’s decision to decline Netflix’s invite is notable for several reasons. Not only did the show miss out on one of the best tight ends of all time, it also lost out on a massive storyline in Kelce’s relationship with Taylor Swift, which took over the NFL last season.

    How Does Kittle Stack Up to Top WRs?

    While Kittle may be a tight end, his stats aren’t too far off from a lot of receivers. After playing seven seasons in the NFL, he’s put together 460 receptions for 6,274 yards and 37 touchdowns.

    He has struggled with injuries recently, so he’s only surpassed 1,000 yards once since 2020 (1,020 yards in 2023). However, at his peak, there was almost no difference between Kittle and a top-tier receiver. Back in 2018, Kittle caught 88 passes for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns. The following year, he totaled 1,053 yards and five touchdowns.

    KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Wide Receiver Rankings

    Another thing to keep in mind when looking at Kittle’s stats and comparing them to other receivers is that he spends a lot of his time blocking, too, not just running routes.

    In terms of money, though, Kittle is quite a bit behind the highest-paid receivers in the NFL. As the third highest-paid tight end in the NFL, Kittle makes $15 million per year. For reference, that would be tied for the 25th highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL (Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett and Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton).

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