The San Francisco 49ers have finally hired a general manager and it's a surprising name. Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist and FOX analyst John Lynch will become the team's new general manager, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.


Lynch, 45, has no front office experience but reportedly impressed 49ers CEO Jed York with his leadership and communication skills, as well as his link to former coach Bill Walsh, who coached Lynch at Stanford 25 years ago. That information comes from York himself via Bay Area News Group. Lynch played for Walsh in Lynch's final season at Stanford in 1992.

The 49ers are still finalizing the contract with their new general manager, which is reportedly a six-year deal. Lynch officially accepted the job on Sunday night.

"Lynch spent Thursday and Friday meeting with San Francisco officials," reports Schefter. "He spent Thursday night at 49ers owner Jed York's house, before the team flew him back to San Diego on Friday night so he could attend a family function." Lynch reportedly joined York and 49ers chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe in Atlanta on Friday to meet with Shanahan before that flight to San Diego.


Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl safety that played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos. His hiring comes after weeks of speculation and interviews, none of which included Lynch. He most recently served as an analyst for NFL game broadcasts on FOX since retiring in 2008.

Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton was thought to be the leading candidate for the job and had a lengthy second interview with both the 49ers and future head coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday and Saturday. Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough also interviewed with the team on Saturday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Lynch was identified weeks ago as a candidate but wouldn't go through with it unless it remained a secret.


Now all that remains is the hiring of Shanahan, who currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Shanahan is expected to be named the head coach shortly after Super Bowl LI between the Falcons and the Patriots.

"The idea to hire Lynch was his own," reports Schefter. "He personally called Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan about a week ago, and volunteered for the job."

Lynch played for Kyle Shanahan's father, Mike Shanahan, who was the Broncos head coach during his time in Denver. The former safety is a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for a third straight year. This year's class will be revealed on Saturday, the day before Super Bowl LI in Houston.

The hiring may be a strong indication that Shanahan will indeed have much of the control over the roster once he officially becomes the head coach.

Lynch replaces Trent Baalke, whose firing was officially announced by the team on January 1 following the 49ers' final game of the 2016 season. Baalke started his tenure with the 49ers in 2005 as their Western Region Scout. In March of 2010, the 49ers terminated the contract of then general manager Scot McCloughan, leaving Baalke to head the draft during the following month. He briefly served as the vice president of player personnel for the 49ers before being promoted to general manager following the firing of head coach Mike Singletary.



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