No. 3: John Lynch’s Relationship with John Elway
OK, perhaps Denver Broncos general manager John Elway hasn’t done the best of jobs for his team in recent years, and the Broncos are having all kinds of problems in 2019.
That doesn’t change the fact, however, Elway has a great rapport with the Niners’ own GM, John Lynch.
And the 49ers have used that relationship to great effect.
This year proved to be no different. While San Francisco was solid and deep at more than a number of positions, wide receiver production was hurting and few options were rising to the surface ahead of the 2019 NFL trade deadline.
As a result, the Niners were able to send a third-round draft pick to Denver, along with a fourth- and fifth-round pick swap, in exchange for veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Not coincidentally, that’s when Jimmy Garoppolo’s passing efforts this season started to take off. Sanders proved to be an immediate difference maker. And while he’s dealt with some notable injuries with the 49ers already, Sanders’ mere presence on the field has forced opposing defenses to pay attention to him, opening up Garoppolo’s other options to great effect.
A poorer relationship between front offices would likely have meant such a deal wouldn’t have taken place. But that’s not what Lynch and Elway have, meaning Sanders coming to San Francisco provided a massive boost to the Niners’ playoff chances.