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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


John Lynch responds to NFL.com criticism of Juszczyk and Smith contracts

Mar 17, 2017 at 10:17 AM--


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Earlier this week, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com called out two free agent contracts by the San Francisco 49ers, naming them among the worst so far during the 2017 offseason.

Rosenthal said the following in the NFL.com article.

"Successful teams set a price for a player and stick to it. The 49ers appeared to lock in a list of players they planned to obtain and only accepted signing them right away. That's how Juszczyk, a great fullback, came to be paid as one of the top-10 running backs in football at $5 million per year. He's earning double the amount of the previous highest-paid fullback in salary and guaranteed money. Linebacker Malcolm Smith, a bust in Oakland at $3.5 million per season, received $12 million fully guaranteed over the next two seasons."

49ers general manager John Lynch had not heard about the analysis until he joined "Murph & Mac" on KNBR this morning, who read Lynch the following excerpt from the article.

"It looks like agents smelled blood in the water with new general manager John Lynch and knocked him around at the negotiating table."

"We're proud of those signings," Lynch responded. "We really are. I think I spoke to great length the value both those guys brings to us. I played in this league for a long time. I've been on the other side as a broadcaster. One thing I learned when I played – if you're sitting there reading everything that people are saying about you, taking it personally, you aren't going to be very successful. So I think we make decisions for reasons. We looked for a certain type of player. I think both those guys fit it and we're really proud.

"I think the reason that they both got nice contracts is because they were wanted and we weren't the only ones that wanted them and a lot of our situations, we weren't the highest bidder. Guys came because there's an exciting vibe here. Guys want to be here and so both those guys, Juszczyk and Malcolm, obviously, none of this means anything until they go play and we go play. We're fully aware of that but those are two guys that we're very excited to have as part of the 49ers."

RELATED 2017 49ers Free Agency Tracker

Juszczyk did indeed get offered more money but chose to join head coach Kyle Shanahan instead. Joe Linta, the agent for Juszczyk, confirmed that according to an article by Peter King of TheMMQB. As much as the 49ers ended up paying Juszczyk, he received a higher offer from another team and turned it down to play for San Francisco.

"We're going to make him the highest paid fullback in football and what I've learned very quickly, the price goes up in free agency when there's numerous suitors," Lynch said last week while introducing Juszczyk and the other newly signed free agents to the media. "There were numerous suitors for him and at some point, Kyle and I said, 'Wow. This is getting real.' But, we both gravitated, I forget who coined it, but we said, 'Let's not think of him as a fullback. He's an OW.' So, if you see OW, that stands for offensive weapon. We saw an offensive weapon that this guy is thrilled to be able to use in a number of different capacities and I think that kind of is symbolic of our approach."



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