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In January, Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports called San Francisco 49ers chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe "a numbers guy whose influence over ownership was unparalleled." While team CEO Jed York had the final say during the search for a new general manager and head coach, Marathe was in the room with York during interviews. Robinson identified Marathe's excessive involvement as one of the numerous obstacles that former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly had to endure during his one year with the team.

There have been reports of Marathe sitting in on football meetings with coaches, leaving many to wonder if he was overstepping his authority. New 49ers general manager John Lynch has heard all of the concerns but decided to create his own opinion and not let outside chatter influence it. He has formed a different opinion of Marathe during his interactions with him thus far. While Lynch believes that he brings numerous strengths to the organization, he admits that salary cap management is not one of them yet. It is something that Lynch intends to learn.

"You need people like Paraag who can help you out along the way," Lynch told Mike Florio in the latest edition of PFT Live. "I can tell you he's been a tremendous asset. People say, 'Are you an analytics guy?' I'm not a Moneyball guy but I'm also a guy that thinks it would be foolish not to embrace some of that, particularly where we reside. I'm looking out the door – there's Google. It's all right around here and we'd be foolish not to embrace that a little bit and see if we can glean any competitive advantage that we might be able to.

"No, those guys (like Marathe) won't be in the booth, in Kyle's ear saying, '34-percent of the time, we should run the ball here.' That's not the way it's working. But, in the back of the building, introducing ideas, introducing things that are innovative. That's the way this organization was made great by a guy named Bill Walsh who was incredibly innovative in his own way and ahead of the curve so I'm going to embrace a guy like Paraag to the fullest extent. I think he's got a bad wrap over the years. I don't know where that story developed in terms of being a meddler. All I know is that in the short time I've been here, he's been a tremendous asset."

Marathe has been with the 49ers for 16 years. He is the team's chief contract negotiator, salary cap architect and oversees the team's football analytics department. In 2015, Marathe was reassigned from his position of team president to his current role.

In January, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media stated on KNBR that he was baffled by the local perception of Marathe. "Paraag is a really respected name in the NFL, which is why it's so interesting to me locally that it is so different," Rapoport said. "And I'm not quite sure how that happened. I guess probably because the wins have not come and everyone sort of looks to the two faces that are kind of out there. But I'll just say as far as nationally (and) around the league, from the candidates I talked to – I try to talk to all of them – to the other GMs, I know Paraag is considered a very respected person."