The 49ers have hired John Lynch to be their general manager. Lynch, 45, played in the NFL for 15 seasons, won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and spent the last seven years as an analyst for Fox Sports.
He has never held a front-office job in the NFL.
Thus, while Lynch is happy about his new gig, some NFL people, it is safe to say, are not.
“I think that it’s a frustrating thing for longtime veteran scouts who have had successful careers, who see somebody basically walk in off the street,” TheMMQB.com’s Peter King said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I’ve only talked to two people since this news (broke) who are in the scouting business, and one of them, I thought, had a very interesting point to make. This is a guy who’s going to be a GM candidate in the coming years. He goes, It’s clear that this decision was made for a reason that may be different than we ever thought of before, and that is Kyle Shanahan was really comfortable with John Lynch, liked John Lynch. He knew John Lynch because there’s a relationship with his father and all that and his relationship with the Broncos.
“So I think when you look at this, I’m just going to ask you this,” King continued. “How weird does it seem to you that these general manager jobs – now it worked out with Pete Carroll and John Schneider – but just imagine a lot of these coaches will take jobs and not know the general manager (and) just kind of meet him when he gets there. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If this guy is the guy you’re going to be dependent on for your success, don’t you think that you ought to get to know this guy and know whether you think that he’s going to be really good and help you get players?”
The 49ers are, of course, one of the most storied franchise in the NFL. They also had several highly successful seasons under Jim Harbaugh, advancing to at least the NFC Championship in three straight seasons from 2011-13. San Francisco, however, parted ways with Harbaugh after an 8-8 season in 2014. The Niners then went 7-25 under Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly and are about to hire their third coach in three years.
Niners fans may or may not be happy about Lynch’s hire, but as King pointed out, the 49ers have a much more glaring position to fill this offseason.
“The reason the 49ers stink is because of the quarterback position,” King said. “Over and over again, we look at all these reasons about why teams fail, and the one commonality in 95 percent of them (is) they fail (because of the quarterback). Why did the Jacksonville Jaguars stink this year? Because Blake Bortles was hugely disappointing. Why did the Houston Texans struggle all year? It was Brock Osweiler. That’s what I think it comes down to at the end of the day.”