Jed York was fine with doing “something different”

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There’s a fine line between thinking outside the box and losing your damn mind. 49ers CEO Jed York thinks he’s fallen on the right side of it.

Nothing is guaranteed,” York told Peter King of in the aftermath of the news that the team had hired broadcaster John Lynch to serve as the team’s General Manager. “But so many opportunities are missed in the NFL because people don’t want to do something different. We’re OK with that, because I am confident in Kyle [Shanahan] and John. John has watched John Elway, and how he’s built a team in Denver. As easy as it is to say he hasn’t built a team yet — I get that — I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games. We understand we’ll have to live with growing pains, but I’m willing to do that because I believe the upside with both of them is so great.”

First takeaway: So much for any discretion or finesse regarding the rule that prevents the 49ers from hiring Shanahan before his current employer completes the Super Bowl. If it wasn’t already obvious (and it should have been), Shanahan will be the next coach of the 49ers.

That fact, along with the reality that the 49ers promised Shanahan final say over the roster in order to get the deal done, made Lynch a viable candidate. As previously mentioned in this space 10 days ago, the inability of the team to give final say to the G.M. could force the franchise to shift its focus to people not currently employed with other franchises, since candidates like George Paton of the Vikings or Terry McDonough of the Cardinals could have been blocked if the job didn’t give them control of the roster.

“Folks who would aspire to fill that role may already be contacting Shanahan and/or the 49ers to express interest,” we wrote — and that’s exactly how it went down, based on the ESPN report that Lynch reached out to Shanahan.

So while it was a bold move, it also was a move born in large part of necessity. When candidates for the coaching job began to systematically bow out and Shanahan was able to squeeze favorable terms from the team (including what is expected to be a six-year, $30 million deal and control over the roster), the 49ers had no choice but to go outside the box — the circumstances had yanked them there.

Whether it works remains to be seen. Talk of Lynch’s preparation sounds a lot like the Matt Millen dynamic, who as legend has it had a habit of telling teams during production meetings what they needed to do to improve. The Lions thought it sounded good enough to give him the keys to the franchise.

Lynch doesn’t have the keys to the franchise, but he’s in position to affect it significantly, for better or worse, for the next several years. Whether he goes the way of Elway or Millen remains to be seen.

48 responses to “Jed York was fine with doing “something different”

  1. 1. What exactly has shanahan done to merit full control over a roster? 2. Do either of them know about trade values of draft picks, how to structure a contract, or manage the cap?

  2. Well you can question this move or just be happy a change has finally been made. I’ll go with the latter. Lynch could end up being a good GM, only time will tell. It also looks like Shanahan will be our next HC and I’m happy with that as well.

  3. ” I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games.”

    He sounds qualified.

  4. Matt Millen played on super bowl teams under the HOFer Al Davis, HOFer Joe Gibbs, and should be HOFer George Seifert. When he got into the TV business, he was by far the best analyst. The Detroit Lions needed a new GM, and they were fine with doing “something different”. Jed York was just a baby then, so he probably doesn’t remember it well. That’s probably a good thing for John Lynch.

  5. So something different is emulating the 0-17 lions by hiring a commentator with no experience as a GM? Did the 9ers not learn from the Matt Millen disaster? Is this not the same thing? Why Jed York, why?

  6. This move is a good one in several ways, and for Niner fans there are some reasons for hope. The choices of Shanahan and Lynch reflect the Niner fans’ sensitivity towards local history. We want a head coach with an aggressive pro-style offense. We respect the Stanford connection. We respect the Walsh connection. So, at least for the moment, there is some hope. We shall see.

  7. Kyle, Mike and Lynch just played Jed with a phone call. Jed should have followed the Raiders game-plan and just hired a good GM to build the talent.

  8. Well that changes career options around for you Florio. Now you can start dropping hints that you might be available for consideration as GM if the price is right.

  9. Does everyone hate Jed York around owners circle’s or is it just public perception?

    Spoiler brat who doesn’t hold himself accountable.

  10. I watch pro’s do a lot of spectacular things, doesn’t mean I can do what they do by watching them. If mommy and daddy hasn’t taken away the team by now, it will never happen.

  11. Wow !! This will set us back a few more years !! They thought “outside the box” when promoting Tomsula from position coach to Head Coach. How did that work out ? If no one noticed before, Jed York is definitely letting everyone know that he is the problem with the franchise

  12. I feel bad for 49er fans, their once proud franchise has been reduced to rubble.

  13. There’s a fine line between thinking outside the box and losing your damn mind……Coupled with, when pushed into a corner, your decision making abilities dwindle. It appears the once proud, now dysfunctional 49’s franchise appears to have gone down the road of the Lions of the early 2000’s.

    NO credible GM would take the job of the dysfunctional 49’ers so they hired anyone they could. A former (great) player, turned TV analyst. Sound familiar? Detroit Lions circa 2001.

    Now doomed to the AFC West basement, 49’ers fans will be calling for head of the silver spooned owner, who’s too stupid and too lazy to run his own team.

    Being a Lions fan, Im sorry for the fans of this franchise. I walked a mile in your shoes and know how painful it is.

  14. Harbaugh is still on the books. Tomasula is still on the books. Chip Kelly is still on the books. Trent Baalke is still on the books. It’s possible the Niners could have 5……FIVE! former coaches and GM’s on their payroll.

    At this point Jed should just be honest. “Well Peter we couldn’t get anyone with experience to interview so we hired the first guy that called”

  15. Buckey Brooks must have said no also, since the 1st time head coach is getting final say on roster. If this 6 year deal for both doesnt work out, will mommy take the team away from Jeds control?

  16. This is seemingly the only profession where things like this occur. Even with the Cleveland Browns hiring Sashi Brown who has never ever played or worked in football before. Someone would never hire a nurse to be an orthopedic surgeon. Even if its the smartest nurse around. There has to be a level of training and experience that should preceed earning a high level position. If not, then just hire the nicest guy around, have him become a media darling and hope that he can scout players. Its a tremendous slap in the face to all of the scouts and personnel guys who have established a career learning the trade. Ultimately, with the 49er roster being the BIGGEST issue, the GM had to be the most important hire. Belichick couldn’t coach that roster to the playoffs because the cupboard is bare. This is a tremendous reach to say the least

  17. Selling the team would be something different and would bring better times to the franchise. We can only hope the York family finally gets tired of Jed’s constant failures.

  18. By most accounts, Josh Mcdaniels is a great coach…but he drafted Tim Tebow in the first round. Just because you played or can coach doesn’t mean you can scout players. Theres so much more to the general managers job.

  19. When are people going to realize that Jed doesn’t know what’s going on? When 49er fans saw that Paraag Marathe was prominently mentioned in releases about the GM and coaching search, they should have realized that the clown show would continue. The reason this is more like Millen than Elway and probably is worse is because Elway had a structure already in place that he just walked into. That structure had made many good draft picks before he took that job, so their scouting chops were not in question. On the other hand you have the Lions who didn’t have any kind of structure and just a clueless owner with clowns like Tom Awand similar to Paraag Marathe having outsized influence who haven’t had a good draft since 2012, so thus no structure for Lynch to slide right into. So basically you got a guy who talked his way into the job but knows nothing about doing the actual job taking over with a department full of personnel people who have been making bad draft picks for years. Sounds like Matt Millen 2.0 to a tee to me. Good luck with all that.

  20. By most accounts, Josh Mcdaniels is a great coach…but he drafted Tim Tebow in the first round. Just because you played or can coach doesn’t mean you can scout players. Theres so much more to the general managers job.


    And just because you have been scouting for a while doesn’t make you a good GM. Teams go through guys (scouts and gm’s) that came up through the system at a high rate too. Jerry Jones, Bill Belichick, John Elway and Ozzie Newsome never worked as recruiters. Over the last 25 years, those 4 have more superbowls than any combination of 4 gm’s.

  21. Lynch will have to learn on the fly, his duties arent going to be the usual for a GM on all fronts because Kyle will have last word. Mike Shananhan would have been a better hire because he had full power in DC and has decades worth of experience theyd be wise to hire him as a consultant or something. There is also the possibility Kyle balked at this to show he can make it on his own as a coach. That’s fine and all, esp given the power he’ll have in SF but hes not doing himself any favors with his GM pick.

  22. I am actually starting to think that the 49ers are just trolling their fans to see how much they will take. Lynch may turn out to be great, but it’s a huge risk for a team that definitely needs stability and experience right now.

  23. Hiring a guy with no experience at all no matter how crazy it may seem just for the sake of doing something “different”.
    Picking some over the top TV personality because of name recognition alone even though there is enough history to show that this kind of move is incredibly stupid and reckless.

    Where have I seen that before…

  24. rootpain says:
    Jan 30, 2017 8:51 AM

    Well that changes career options around for you Florio. Now you can start dropping hints that you might be available for consideration as GM if the price is right.


    For the right price and a six year contract, I’d join up with you as Scouting Director.

    It would be YUGE!

  25. In today’s sports world of what have you done for us lately, anyone can be fired or cut at any time. Look at Seattle. They have a revolving door on players, especially the running back position. Just look at Christine Michael. A general manager or a head coach is not going to be the person that will stay around until death do us part. Bill Belichick is a rare exception among coaches, and it is because he has been highly successful.

  26. Considering the win-loss record of the 49ers, they really have nothing to lose, perhaps 2 more games than they did this season. LOL They have the luxury to experiment, unlike perennial playoff contenders.

  27. York really didn’t have much of a choice, because it seems as though jobs with the 49er organization are not all that appealing to potential employees at the management level right now. It also seems like as long as the organization is making money, the team, fans and 49er tradition will continue to be embarrassed by an unacceptable football team.

  28. The bottom line is none of us know what Lynch can do, but instead of being positive and think about Elway having no experience, we think of Millen who was a catastrophic failure. I’m more than sure that with all on the line, Lynch will be surrounded by experienced football people. As a 49er fan I can say one thing for sure, I so damn happy Baalke is gone! The reality of it all is no top notch GM wanted to work for the 49ers due to the FO mess and leaks that to this day still take place. We know for sure they can keep a secret when they want to, with the hire of Lynch. Shanahan was going to have too much power for any of the GM candidates who were interviewed and the fact on how many dropped out proves that. For now we’re in the abyss so how much worse could it be? We need to hope for the best and see where this new regime takes us.

  29. I believe it was Paraag who was the cause of all the experienced candidates passing on the chance after interviewing. Or in the case of Ballard saying, “no thanks,” to even being considered. And then Ballard taking the job in Indy.
    Maybe that should tell you something Jed?

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