Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch explains why the 49ers didn’t aggressively pursue Josh Gordon

Sep 20, 2018 at 4:48 PM--

There is a vocal segment of fans who were disappointed that the San Francisco 49ers didn't pursue Josh Gordon more aggressively. The New England Patriots ended up pulling off a trade with the Cleveland Browns this week for the talented yet often troubled wide receiver.

49ers general manager John Lynch, who joined KNBR on Thursday, knows the mindset of a passionate fanbase. Any time a talented player is available, there is a portion that will clamor for the team to acquire him and are often left frustrated when it doesn't.

"I understand that people get frustrated and sometimes feel like, 'Why aren't we getting every player that's out there?'" Lynch said on the "Tolbert & Lund" show. "When you look at what we've done in two years in terms of just completely overturning the roster, we've been very active, and I can promise everybody out there that any chance we can have to improve our team, we'll look into it, and we do, and we take that very seriously."

The 49ers did look into the possibility of trading for Gordon — or, had the Browns released him, potentially signing him. Lynch admitted that on Sunday morning before the team's game against the Detroit Lions. How interested the 49ers were remains a mystery. All we know is that the Patriots were more interested.

The 49ers have some familiarity with Gordon. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Browns in 2014, which was Gordon's third year in the league.

2014 was also the year that Gordon was arrested for driving under the influence and suspended for 10 games. The Browns also suspended him for the final game of the season due to a violation of team rules.

"He's a guy that our coaching staff had had history with," Lynch explained. "They were with him in Cleveland, and so they knew the player very well. Obviously an unbelievable talent. Obviously had a lot of issues. So you try to weigh that, and you kind of have to say, okay, what's it worth, number one?

"Number two, we've got a really good thing in our building in terms of the guys and the type of guys we've got in here. Do you want to mess with that?

"I think, in that situation, like any situation, if there's a chance to improve your team, you always look into it. But in certain situations, particularly when you have knowledge of a player, you sit back, and you weigh it. Sometimes it's intriguing, but then, I think sometimes, particularly when you have knowledge of someone, the more you look into it — you know what? We're going to stay away from that.

"There's different deals in every trade. You look at everything. I think the enticing thing with this situation is he had pretty good cost control for a couple of years.

"He's with the Patriots, and he may well play very well for them. He's a very talented player, and we wish him well."

During the conversation, Lynch also discusses Reuben Foster's return from suspension, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, what it's like to play at Arrowhead Stadium, and the 49ers' matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the speedy Kansas City Chiefs offense.

You can listen to the entire interview below.

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