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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

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Jed York says ‘people are compelled to follow’ John Lynch

Jan 30, 2017 at 1:49 PM--


San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York issued a statement via the team's official website regarding the hiring of former NFL safety and FOX analyst John Lynch as the new general manager.

The hiring has been both praised by those who know Lynch or have worked with him and criticized by those who question the hiring of a candidate with no front office experience. In a week, Lynch will very likely be joined by Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is expected to be announced as the 49ers' new head coach after Super Bowl LI.

York issued the following statement:

"During his 15 seasons as an NFL player, John epitomized what is so special about the game of football. A world-class competitor, his love and respect for the sport are unmatched, and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in league circles who does not have great respect for his work ethic and passion. Having already helped lead a team to a Super Bowl title as a player, John is equipped with tremendous insight into what it takes to create a culture that breeds sustained success. Having spent the last eight seasons as an analyst with FOX, he has honed his skills as a talented communicator while also developing valuable relationships around the league and a vast knowledge of the NFL that will be beneficial to our team. As we learned more and more about John, it became apparent that he was not only one of the best to ever play this game but also a Hall of Fame caliber man, one who people are compelled to follow."

"Nothing is guaranteed," York said via TheMMQB late Sunday night following the official announcement by the team. "But so many opportunities are missed in the NFL because people don't want to do something different. We're okay with that, because I am confident in Kyle and John. John has watched John Elway, and how he's built a team in Denver. As easy as it is to say he hasn't built a team yet—I get that—I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games. We understand we'll have to live with growing pains, but I'm willing to do that because I believe the upside with both of them is so great."

RELATED Brian Billick calls John Lynch 'brilliant'

Lynch was a surprising hire because his name was never associated with the 49ers' search for a general manager. Lynch, who wanted his candidacy to remain a secret, met with York at his home on Thursday. He was actually the one who contacted Shanahan about the possibility of working together and the pair met with each other on Friday when Lynch flew to Atlanta with York and chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe.

Lynch becomes the 11th general manager in franchise history. He enjoyed a 15-year NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos and was a four-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection. Lynch was part of the Buccaneers team that won Super Bowl XXXVII.

Lynch replaces Trent Baalke, whose firing was officially announced by the team on January 1 following the 49ers' final game of the 2016 season.

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