When the 49ers were searching for a General Manager, one of the questions being asked was what kind of control Kyle Shanahan would have over the 53-man roster when he is officially installed as the team’s head coach.
Those questions didn’t go away when the 49ers made their hire on Sunday. John Lynch will be the G.M., but comes to the job from the broadcast booth and doesn’t have a background in personnel evaluation or roster management.
Jim Trotter of ESPN reported Monday that Lynch will have final say on the makeup of the 53-man roster and that CEO Jed York was the person who told him that’s the way things will work with the 49ers. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reported before Lynch was hired that Shanahan’s conversations with other G.M candidates included discussions about how things would break down on that front and that Shanahan wanted a voice in personnel decisions rather than total control of the roster.
The issue of final say comes up often when discussing how coaches and General Managers work together, but a good working relationship will feature the personnel department listening to and acting on input from the coaching staff into the kind of players they want to deploy on the field. If that isn’t a smooth process, it’s unlikely to result in a good product and the relationship won’t be a long-term one anyway.
UPDATE 6:15 p.m. ET: Trotter has clarified his previous report to say that Lynch will have final say on the 90-man roster, draft and free agency with Shanahan holding control of the 53-man roster.