49ers shouldn’t extend John Lynch after Kyle Shanahan deal

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers with general manager John Lynch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers with general manager John Lynch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The 49ers extended Kyle Shanahan to a new deal two days ago, but it’s not imminent to get a deal done with John Lynch.

After a 10-22 start in his first two seasons, head coach Kyle Shanahan signed an extension with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday that will keep him on board through 2025. Improving his record to 23-25 overall, 2-1 in the playoffs and a Super Bowl bid in three years had a lot to do with the extension.

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were a packaged deal in 2017, so it follows they should both get an extension. After all, both were responsible for the climactic Niners rebuild.

Not so fast.

Ultimately, it’s very likely the 49ers and Lynch will agree to an extension, but it need not happen immediately because it was more pressing to lock down Shanahan even though he didn’t “put a ring on it.”

Shanahan is the man in charge. If this was a television show on the set of the 49ers’ CEO, Jed York, then Shanahan would be the showrunner: the lead writer, the creative genius, while Lynch would be the director, the person responsible for executing the writer’s vision. Lynch understands that.

At around $5 million, Shanahan’s current contract was not in the same ballpark as that of his peers. After the extension, however, his new contract will be in line with other Super Bowl-caliber coaches, somewhere between $8 million to $10 million. By comparison, Lynch’s original contract is already on par with comparable, successful general managers around the league, so it’s not as urgent getting that deal done.

Something else to consider: The franchise is most likely to continue having playoff success by having Shanahan as a head coach than Lynch as a general manager. No one is saying Lynch is irrelevant, but imagine the long line of all the failed Niners head coaches. Who were the GMs at the time? Were they good, bad, or does it even matter?

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports wrote:

"After [Steve] Mariucci, the 49ers had a string of head coaches – Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly – who never made it to the end of their first contracts with the organization."

That’s saying a lot considering one of those coaches, Jim Harbaugh, took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, their first appearance since 1995.

Think of it this way: either Adam Peters or Martin Mayhew, both vice presidents of player personnel with the 49ers, would be instant plug-and-play options at general manager, should Lynch ever leave or get promoted within the organization. But who could fill Shanahan’s shoes?The dude is one of a kind, and when the 49ers revamped his contract earlier this week, it was clear he is their guy.

dark. Next. Shanahan signed through 2025, per ESPN

So, while it might be the popular idea to immediately strike an extension with Lynch, it’s not as pressing as it otherwise might seem.