49ers to Give Former Safety John Lynch 6-Year Deal to Be Next GM, Despite Zero Experience

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers are already paying two coaches that are no longer working for the team.

Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly each lasted a single season in the role, before the team handed a beefy, nearly unprecedented offer to Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who can't technically sign a contract until his season is over the second the clock strikes zero in the upcoming Super Bowl.

And thanks to a speculative phone call about a week ago, CEO Jed York, the man responsible for the Niners' coaching carousel, is going to strap Shanahan to a general manager with zero front office experience: Hall of Fame finalist and former safety John Lynch.

Both will get six-year deals, which is nothing short of madness.

Lynch reportedly called Shanahan about the job, went through the interview process, and met with the future Niners head coach before the team made the announcement on Sunday night.

The two-time All-Pro played under Shanahan's father Mike while with the Denver Broncos. He won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2002 season.

As an analyst for Fox, Lynch praised the offensive coordinator during his Falcons' divisional round victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

“You know, Kyle, I think he goes in these production, er, excuse me, interviews and maybe comes off a little confident, a little arrogant,” Lynch said, referring to interviews broadcasters carry out with coaches before games. “I don’t care. I want an arrogant coach. I want a confident coach. I’d be hiring that guy in a second.”

Matt Millen, the last broadcaster with zero managerial experience to assume control of a team, led the Detroit Lions to a 31-84 record from 2001 to September 2008, including one 0-16 season. He's since admitted he wasn't qualified for the position.

"It's not about understanding the game and knowing the game. It's none of that. It's not Xs and Os. It's about managing people," Millen said about being a GM.

"The biggest thing that helps in those jobs is experience and having been exposed to it. When you haven't been and when you don't have it, you're forced to rely on other people. For little things. And so that's why you have to know the people. That's why you got to know them. You got to know their eyes, you got to know philosophically how they are, you got to know what they're like politically, you got to know who's trying to work you. There's tons of stuff. And then you've got to know—when I say know the whole building, you've got to know all the people in the decision-making process, up to and including ownership."

 

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