Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have now signed their second round of extensions with the 49ers. The team’s power brokers, who arrived in 2017, finalized new deals Friday.
This comes three years after the pair received their initial extensions. At the time, Lynch was signed through 2024 and Shanahan through 2025. The duo is now inked into at least the late 2020s. The 49ers hovered near the bottom of the NFL when they hired Shanahan and Lynch in 2017, leading to each receiving six-year contracts to lead a rebuild. The second-generation HC and Hall of Fame safety have led the way in reinvigorating the franchise.
When the 49ers handed their HC-GM tandem the previous extensions, the team was coming off a remarkable turnaround — going from 4-12 to Super Bowl LIV. These latest deals come after the 49ers have managed to sustain success despite quarterback unreliability. It is rather impressive the seventh-year decision-makers have secured these re-ups so quickly after the Trey Lance experiment failed. Withstanding that miss illustrates the roster strength the 49ers have built and the play-calling acumen Shanahan has displayed.
Eyeing an upgrade on the injury-prone Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021, the 49ers sent the Dolphins two future first-rounders and a third to climb from No. 12 to No. 3. That move turned into Lance, despite persistent rumors Shanahan initially preferred Mac Jones. But he signed off on Lance. This would ordinarily lead to a significant step back for a franchise, but the 49ers soared to back-to-back NFC championship games despite receiving next to nothing from the handpicked Garoppolo heir apparent.
Had Jaquiski Tartt corralled a room-service INT late in the 2021 NFC title game, the 49ers likely continue their mastery over the Rams and book a Super Bowl LVI berth. But the team overcame that loss to assemble a 12-game win streak last season, doing so after more QB uncertainty engulfed it. The 49ers stunned the football universe by staying on course after going from Garoppolo to Brock Purdy, the last pick in the 2022 draft. Purdy, who made the team as a third-stringer behind Lance and Garoppolo to start last season, still has not lost a regular-season start, improving to 8-0 via Thursday night’s win over the Giants.
Shanahan’s play-calling has undeniably aided Purdy, who quarterbacked the 49ers to playoff wins over the Seahawks and Cowboys, and the duo’s roster-building effort produced a historically rare offense housing four first-team All-Pros. The trade for Christian McCaffrey was out of step with where running back value has gone, but the 49ers are unbeaten when McCaffrey starts and their quarterback finishes a game. While McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams were not enough to topple the Eagles with Purdy injured (and backup Josh Johnson sustaining a concussion), the 49ers boast one of the NFL’s best nuclei.
Lynch’s extension comes barely a year after he turned down an Amazon offer that would have more than doubled his GM salary. Lynch, who will turn 52 on Monday, spent years in the FOX booth prior to joining the 49ers in surprising fashion. Shanahan, 43, came to San Francisco as a coveted commodity, moving west after leading the Falcons to a historically dominant offensive season in 2016.
Jed York‘s 49ers had become the first team since the late-1970s Niners to make back-to-back head coaches (Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly) one-and-dones. While Shanahan and Lynch started slowly, the 2019 season — after the team parlayed Garoppolo’s 2018 ACL tear into the No. 2 overall pick (Nick Bosa) — proved indicative of the team’s capabilities. The 49ers just gave Bosa a record-smashing extension.
Shanahan is the 49ers’ longest-tenured HC since George Seifert; this extension puts him in line to top the two-time Super Bowl winner, who coached the team for eight seasons. Lynch’s GM tenure matches predecessor Trent Baalke‘s in length; the Jim Harbaugh coworker was in the GM chair from 2010-16.