Five More Years!

44 days ago, Kyle Shanahan signed a 6 year contract extension. Today, John Lynch follows suit with a 5 year extension, news which isn’t so shocking as Lynch has hinted that the deal was close.

There is really no question as to the effectiveness of the pair. How GM and HC work together plays a huge role in the success of the team in both the short and long term. We 49ers fans don’t have to look back too far to see the truth of that, from the passive misfires with Baalke and Tomsula or Baalke and Chip Kelly, to the outright hostilities like Baalke and Harbaugh.

Although things have turned out great, it was a risky move by Jed York, bringing in a first time HC and an ex-player turned announcer as GM. However, Shanahan was coming from a coordinator’s salary, so was paid like a first time HC. Lynch, on the other hand, was coming from a very well paid role for Fox Sports, and so a contract extension for him could well be more financially complex.

Lynch’s first draft netted one of the league’s finest young stars in the 5th round. Also included was a character risk LB which sadly didn’t pan out, although Foster had all the tools to become a monster player. Solomon Thomas, taken 3rd overall (yes, that’s how bad we were the year before (actually we traded down from 2nd overall…)) has yet to reach his potential. Trent Taylor was a 3rd down catching machine and I can’t wait for him to return to the field!

Point is, there were some rookie gambles for Lynch, some of which paid off.

The 2018 draft saw a more conservative approach, but all players take in all 7 rounds are still on the team and contributing to some extent.

Sadly, after the early season ending injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, we finished up with a 4-12 record and the second pick in the 2019 draft.

2019’s draft was a roaring success, with John Lynch and his evaluation staff firing on all cylinders.

Taking a punter in the 4th rounds garnered some questions, but this was a more than solid draft.

2020 gave us an opportunity to smugly peak into other organisations’ handling of the draft. John Lynch’s tour of his home setup was inspiring, and left no doubt that he was on top of the whole thing.

There have also been crucial FA signings, which have often happened at just the right time: Jimmy Garoppolo, Richard Sherman, Weston Richburg, Kyle Juszczyk, Robbie Gould, Emanuel Sanders, Dee Ford.

These are good times to be a 49ers fan. We were promised by Lynch, Shanahan and York that there would be wins and wins done the right way; that the team would be built on character. And you know what, it has. The locker room is tight, and players are very supportive of each other, even if they sign with a new team (Colbert, Breida, Buckner etc). 

There are no leaks, no disgruntled employees. A staff that’s pulling in the same direction.

John Lynch has shown that he can bring in the best players, with an intelligent, creative approach to contracts, avoiding the superstars with superstar level contracts or questionable characte, that we fans love to speculate about (OBJ, Antonio Brown, Jamal Adams etc). We have a mostly young talented team with excellent leadership. The coaching staff and the player acquisition team are ensuring that we have a team that can win now and for the foreseeable future.

That’s why locking in Lynch and Shanahan for the next 5 and 6 years was a no brainer, and its not that difficult to imagine a 6th Lombardi Trophy placed in the museum in Santa Clara by one John Terrence Lynch Jr.

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