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Bob Angelo

Thoughts On The Game
  • Writer's pictureBob Angelo

A GM's Mark of Excellence

Prior to the 2022 NFL season, John Lynch turned down a broadcasting job reportedly worth about $15 million annually!

According to media sources, that’s roughly three times what he makes as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers. I’ll pause a moment to let those two things sink in…..

As a free safety in the NFL, Lynch’s Hall of Fame resume includes scores of big hits, nine Pro Bowls, several first and second team All-Pro selections, and one championship ring as part of the Tampa Bay Bucs 48-21 victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII (37).

After football, Lynch spent a decade working as a game analyst for Fox Sports. Quite suddenly, in 2017, the struggling 49ers hired Lynch to be the team’s new general manager and Kyle Shanahan to be head coach.

Shanahan boasted a lengthy coaching resume and a pedigree. Lynch had never even worked as a scout, had no NFL personnel experience, and actually “volunteered” for the position. Football pundits were skeptical at best.

Just three years later (2019), the Lynch-Shanahan combo won the NFC championship and a berth in Super Bowl LIV (54). A key Lynch trade for backup Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo helped make that happen.

Since his arrival, Lynch's Pro Bowl draft choices include George Kittle (2017), Fred Warner (2018), Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel (2019), and Talanoa Hufanga (2021), to name just a few of the quality selections San Francisco has made.


The 2022 mid-season acquisition of RB Christian McCaffrey may rank as Lynch’s most impactful personnel move ever.

Unless, of course, San Francisco finds its way to Super Bowl LVII (57). If that happens, his seventh round selection of Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (aka Mr. Irrelevant) just might make John Lynch the NFL’s PFWA Executive of the Year for a second time. (His first recognition came in 2019.)

Not bad for a guy whose previous NFL experiences all involved shoulder pads and helmets—or broadcast booths!

What makes this success story so remarkable is John Lynch’s loyalty to its completion. When asked about his career situation and leaving the $10 million Lynch left on the table, Lynch remarked:

“My commitment right now is to this organization… to the York family (team owners), to Kyle… I do think we have something special, and we’re here to win championships… so my commitment is right here and that’s where I’ll be.”

To quote an old car commercial: “That’s a GM’s Mark of Excellence.”

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