On Thursday, 49ers general manager John Lynch cooked up a big surprise by inviting former team great wide receiver Jerry Rice to speak at the team's final minicamp practice. Niners Wire's Chris Biderman broke the story for USA Today.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice visited the team at the end of its final minicamp session on Thursday.

It didn't take long for general manager John Lynch to whip up something big, as it was just a few short months ago that he made it a priority to welcome 49ers alumni.

"That was one thing maybe I had heard, that guys didn't feel welcome," Lynch said after the press conference introduced him and new head coach Kyle Shanahan.

But Lynch quickly made his feelings known on the subject during his interview with team owner Jed York:

"And I said I have to have that, where these guys are not only welcome, but encouraged. That's what we're aspiring to be. So the more we can have them around, the better to me. And I got that assurance."

Where did Lynch's feelings derive from?

"Those guys created the standard that we're striving for," Lynch said. "I've reached out to a lot of these guys and let them know that not only are they welcome, we really want these guys around because that's what we're aspiring to be. I've also told them we can't ride on their coattails. We understand that we have to earn their trust as well."

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Lynch seemingly could not have picked a better first guest to have, as Rice's career speaks for itself. Back in 2010, Rice placed first on NFL Network's Top 100 Players list, which included several other 49er greats. Teammate Joe Montana also finished in the top-five, ranking fourth overall.

Rice finished his career leading the NFL in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and total touchdowns (208), according to NFL.com.