The most surprising facet of the San Francisco 49ers hiring John Lynch isn’t the hire itself; it’s the fact that it’s a six-year deal – for a guy who has never held a front-office job.
“It’s incredible,” SF Gate 49ers writer Kevin Lynch said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I’m not even sure I’ll be alive in six years. He’s going to fly right past the Trump presidency, if it works out well. He’ll be past Jed York’s middle age. A six-year deal – who signs a six-year deal? It’s incredible. I’m wondering if he talked to Jim Tomsula, (who) looks like a truck driver, was a defensive line coach, had no business being a head coach, and for some reason who convinced York that he should be the coach – and he got $13 million out of the thing. I wonder if he was in cahoots with John Lynch and said, ‘Hey, let me show you how you convince Jed York to pay you a lot of money.’ Maybe that’s how this thing got done. Who knows?”
While many Niners fans are concerned about the direction in which the franchise is headed – fourth head coach in four years, hiring a GM who has never been a GM, likely hiring an OC who has never been a head coach, etc., – Scott Ferrall is optimistic. The Niners sought instant gratification for the last couple of seasons. Now they’re going to give Lynch a fair shake as GM, and, if the reports are true, they’re going to hire perhaps the best offensive mind in football.
“It could be the right thing,” Lynch said. “There are just so many unknowns. Kyle Shanahan is 37 years old. He’s going to be essentially the offensive coordinator. He’s also going to develop the quarterback, and he’s going to have a lot of personnel power. He’s kind of a cocky guy, so how will that play inside that building? So you just don’t know. Can he handle all of those things when some of these things he’s never done before. And you got John Lynch. Yeah, he’s a good guy and he did a decent job, I think, as a broadcaster, but he’s never picked a player. Sure, he’s looked at a player on film and made a comment on him on the air, but he’s never said, ‘Hey, I liked this guy in college. I think he’s going to fit our system.’ Who knows whether he can do that or not? That’s a real skill, and to project that he can do that, you just don’t know. There’s so many unknowns with this.”
Even with Lynch and likely Shanahan on board, the Niners still have to figure out what to do at quarterback.
“It’s a little bit of a disaster,” Lynch said. “I’m the outlier. I think they should get Colin Kaepernick back because when you look at Kyle Shanahan’s history, he gets the best out of most of the quarterbacks he’s been with, whether it’s Matt Schaub, whether it’s RG3, whether it’s Matt Ryan. And he’s got a history with read-option quarterbacks. When he had RG3 as a rookie, he changed that offense dramatically to make it comfortable for him and he sets records for quarterback rating and touchdown-to-interception ratio for a rookie quarterback. Now if he can do that for Colin Kaepernick and if you can get the 2012 Colin Kaepernick – when everyone was saying that this could be a potential Hall of Famer – then I think you may have something. Then you get a guy in who can compete with him, whether it’s Mitch Trubisky or Jimmy Garoppolo, then I think you might have something at quarterback.”