John Lynch

This Date In Transactions History: John Lynch

John Lynch has had an enviable career in professional sports. He was selected in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft by the expansion Florida Marlins, and he threw the first pitch in Marlins’ organizational history as a member of one of the team’s minor league affiliates, the Erie Sailors. His Sailors jersey resides in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a result, but he was later selected in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers, and he is probably pretty happy that he ultimately chose to pursue football.

Lynch spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with Tampa Bay, and during that time, he established himself as an elite safety. He became one of the most feared tacklers in the league, and he was heralded for his leadership both on and off the field. His playmaking statistics leave a little to be desired, as he tallied just 26 interceptions and 13 sacks in his 15-year career (although he did not become a full-time player until 1996, his fourth year in the league). That could be one of the reasons why he is still on the outside looking in at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his play went beyond raw stats. He was always someone that opposing offenses had to plan around, and his work earned him nine Pro Bowl bids and two First Team All-Pro selections. He was also a key figure in the Bucs’ only championship, helping the team capture Super Bowl XXXVII.

Tampa Bay released the two-sport Stanford athlete following the 2003 campaign, and he was snapped up by the Broncos. Despite switching from strong safety to free safety, Lynch maintained a high level of play with his new club, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons in Mile High. He served as Denver’s defensive captain during the 2006-07 seasons, and on this day in 2007, he and the Broncos agreed to terms on a renegotiated contract that would keep him with the team for one more year.

He considered hanging up the cleats after the 2007 campaign, but Broncos owner Pat Bowlen convinced him to come back for one last hurrah. Even at age 36, though, Lynch expected to be on the field for every snap, and it became clear during the 2008 training camp that he would not be used in sub-packages. He ultimately left the team and was signed by the Patriots, though he never played a regular-season game for New England, which released him just a few weeks later.

Lynch formally announced his retirement in November 2008, and he subsequently enjoyed a successful stint as a color commentator for Fox. He was surprisingly named GM of the 49ers in January 2017, and while the jury is obviously still out on his tenure as an NFL executive, the early returns are promising.

Taking over a club in the midst of a full-scale rebuild, Lynch managed to acquire the team’s quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo last October in exchange for a second-round draft pick. This offseason, he (briefly) made Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history, even though the East Illinois product has played a grand total of seven games in his professional career. Lynch’s fate with the 49ers will, of course, be tied to Garoppolo’s, but he has done as well as could be expected thus far. Indeed, San Francisco is being mentioned as a fringe playoff contender, no mean feat considering the roster that Lynch inherited. And while the playoffs may still be out of reach in 2018, one more good offseason of work could get the 49ers back to postseason play.

This date 11 years ago therefore marked the beginning of the end of Lynch’s on-field career, but his involvement with the league after retiring as a player has been pretty notable in its own right. He is a member of the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor and the Broncos’ Ring of Hame, and he remains a viable candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And while it’s certainly too early to engage in these types of discussions, maybe he’ll one day get into Canton as an executive even if he doesn’t make it as a player.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cousins, Cowboys, Garoppolo, Cards

One of the top dominos to fall in free agency this offseason will be the future of Kirk Cousins. The Redskins have used both the transition tag and franchise tag on the signal-caller in the last two years, respectively, and their intentions this offseason remain unknown.

One option would be to again use a tag on Cousins and then trade him to another team, NBC Sports’ Rich Tandler writes. In theory, Tandler states, Cousins would agree to a deal with another team but would not sign an offer sheet. He would then be receive the transition tag from Washington, who would then trade him to the agreed upon team.

Tandler notes the pros to the deal would be an assurance to Cousins that Washington wouldn’t match an offer, the Redskins would receive compensation for his departure and the other team would get their franchise quarterback without signing him to a heavily front-loaded contract.

Of the teams who would potentially be interested in such a deal, the Browns, Broncos and Jets seem like the most obvious candidates to get something done.

It’s still early in the offseason, but the Cousins situation will be among the most interesting and pivotal of the offseason.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Cowboys wide receiver Ryan Switzer underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle, the team reported. Primarily deployed as a kickoff and punt returner in his rookie season, the North Carolina product is expected to assume a heavier workload on offense in his second season.
  • The Cardinals are looking to hire Titans defensive line coach Nick Eason for the same position, AZ Central’s Kent Somers hears (Twitter link). The position was previously held by Brentson Buckner for the last five seasons. Eason played 10 seasons in the NFL and has been with the Titans since 2014.
  • 49ers general manager John Lynch has stated often that he envisions Jimmy Garoppolo as the quarterback in San Francisco for the foreseeable future. Lynch confirmed this week that steps have been taken to ensure that happens, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch writes. The chances of Garoppolo playing somewhere other than the Bay Area in 2018 are slim to none. If a multi-year deal cannot be quickly reached, the team is sure to use the franchise tag on the signal-caller who has yet to lose as a starter in the NFL (7-0).

NFC Notes: 49ers, Eagles, Injuries

The 49ers have won every game that Jimmy Garoppolo has started this season. However, general manager John Lynch knows that the team’s priority this offseason must be to surround his new signal caller with better talent, reports Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

Smith relays quotes that the first-year decision maker made on FS1 today that expresses his decision to move forward with the plan of building around Garoppolo.

“It frees you up in the draft to go looking for other needs and build your team around him,” said Lynch.

At the moment, San Francisco seems to have found two solid play makers in Marquise Goodwin and rookie Trent Taylor. But with running back Carlos Hyde‘s future with the team uncertain being that he will become an unrestricted free agent, the team needs more guys that can help elevate Garoppolo’s game.

It’s certainly a team with a number of holes, but there’s undoubtedly newfound hope that the organization has found their next franchise quarterback given this late season run.

Here’s more notes from around the NFC:

  • While the Eagles have a number of assistant coaches that could be in-line for head coaching gigs after the conclusion of this season, the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas has gone a bit under-the-radar in terms of garnering interest from general manager needy teams, opines Jeff McLane of The Inquirer. Douglas surprisingly wasn’t mentioned in the league’s annual list of prospective GM candidates. But despite not being named, owner Jeffrey Lurie has spoken highly of the number two football man in his front office. “The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year,” said Lurie. With Douglas’ guidance, the Eagles have made a number of quality football decisions that has led them to being on the verge of clinching home field advantage in the NFC. McLane does mention that while Douglas is highly-regarded in league circles, he’s still viewed as strictly a “football guy”, which isn’t the type of person that is now needed to lead an entire front office, according to McLane. Nevertheless, if the Eagles continue to dominant with Douglas partially at the helm, he definitely should start to become more sought after for a lead job in the years to come.
  • Despite the Cowboys getting Zeke back for the first time since Week 8, the team is still dealing with a number of injuries entering their season-defining Week 16 game against Seattle. Star left tackle Tyron Smith is currently dealing with back and knee injuries, but he will “give it a try” this Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Defensive tackle David Irving has been officially ruled out for a third straight game because of a concussion as well, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Although, there is some good news on the injury front for the Cowboys as stud pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence practiced fully on Friday and is ready to go, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
  • The Seahawks are also dealing with a few critical injuries of their own prior to the Week 16 contest, even though the injury news seems to be a bit better on Seattle’s side. Head coach Pete Carroll said after practice that linebacker Bobby Wagner and strong safety Bradley McDougald are on track to play on Sunday, but the team would “wait-and-see” if cornerback DeShawn Shead would be activated from the PUP for this weekend’s matchup, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com.

NFC Notes: Reed, Redskins, Lions, 49ers

Just days after Terrelle Pryor was placed on season-ending injured reserve, the Redskins’ pass catchers received another blow on Wednesday. The team’s star tight end Jordan Reed was ruled out for the team’s Thanksgiving tilt with the Giants, according to Kimberly Martin of the Washington Post (Twitter link).

The oft-injured Reed, who was labeled as questionable by head coach Jay Gruden an hour before the announcement, will miss his sixth game of the year. Reed also missed four games in 2016 and two during his breakout 2015 season.

There are few better tight ends than Reed when he is on the field. Of the 11 players at his position to record 250 receptions since 2013, he is the only one to average at least five receptions per game. The team will once again turn to Vernon Davis in the division clash on Thursday night.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Though the 49ers will start C.J. Beathard again on Sunday, team general manager John Lynch is convinced Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be the team’s future starting quarterback writes Cam Inman of The Mercury News“We really, genuinely believe that this guy’s got the makings of a guy who could be our guy for years to come,” Lynch said. “That’s all got to come to fruition on the field.” 
  • Staying with San Francisco, Lynch also believes defensive end Arik Armstead has a bright future with the team despite missing 18 of 32 career games with an injury, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee“We think he’s a fit with what we are and who we are going forward,” Lynch said. Though he is a fit, Armstead will need to find a way to stay on the field to stay in the 49ers’ plans.
  • Matt Prater has been the Lions’ most valuable free agent signing in the last five seasons, writes ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Though he has stiff competition from Golden Tate and Glover Quin, the veteran kicker is without a doubt in the mix for the honor.

Extra Points: 49ers, Kelly, Colts, Vikings

John Lynch acknowledged the 49ers‘ effort to add some picks for the 2018 picks may have had an ancillary motivation. The 49ers signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency and used a third-round pick on Iowa’s C.J. Beathard. While the new San Francisco GM hopes Hoyer or Beathard can be the franchise quarterback he covets, he’s aware of the higher-profile passers expected to be part of next year’s talent pool and doesn’t sound averse to adding another passer in 2018. Josh Allen (Wyoming), Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Sam Darnold (USC) headline that group, with Louisville’s Lamar Jackson lurking as a wild-card threat with obvious top-flight athleticism.

I think we have been very up front that we understand that you have to have a big-time franchise quarterback to have success on a year-in-and-year-out basis. We want that and we are aware of that,” Lynch said during a radio interview with KNBR, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “We are hopeful that it’s one of the guys that we already have. There is a quality QB class coming. We just felt like the opportunity to get a lot of players this year that we really valued, plus be able to stockpile for next year as we are trying to rebuild this thing, we want to build this with a nucleus of players that really fit our mold.”

The 49ers acquired 2018 third- and seventh-round picks during draft weekend, the first in the Mitch Trubisky deal with the Bears, and traded a 2018 fourth-rounder to the Broncos for running back Kapri Bibbs.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • A player the Broncos selected hours after making that Bibbs trade, Chad Kelly remains in recovery from right wrist surgery. The former Ole Miss quarterback did not throw during Denver’s offseason program but is targeting a return to making passes in two weeks, the rookie said during an NFL Network appearance. This year’s “Mr. Irrelevant,” Kelly comes to Denver with a higher pedigree than most such seventh-round picks but will be behind Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch going into camp. This will likely be a developmental year for Kelly.
  • While the Broncos are set to hold a quarterback competition, the Vikings have a long-term dilemma at the position. None of the three ESPN.com reporters surveyed believe the Vikes should offer Sam Bradford a long-term extension. Bradford’s two-year deal he signed with the Eagles expires at season’s end. Jeff Dickerson and Rob Demovsky would encourage a franchise tag scenario similar to Washington’s Kirk Cousins course of action, while Michael Rothstein said a Bradford deal makes sense only if the 29-year-old signal-caller would be amenable to a one- or two-year pact. Teddy Bridgewater re-emerged to do some on-field work in late May, although the recovering passer has yet to return to official Vikings practice. He has a complex contract situation, but the Vikings did not pick up his fifth-year option.
  • The Colts allocated much of their linebacker funds to adding outside ‘backers, but they did make some investments to help patch some holes inside. They added Sean Spence and Jon Bostic and used a fifth-round pick on Northwestern’s Anthony Walker. Despite Bostic being signed to a one-year deal worth just $690K and having missed the 2016 season due to injury, Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen projects he will claim one of Indianapolis’ starting inside linebacker jobs. Bowen tabs the other spot to be wide open. Bostic hasn’t started more than one game in a season since starting eight for the 2014 Bears.

West Rumors: Lynch, Kap, Rams, Bolts

John Lynch has vouched for Colin Kaepernick‘s desire to play football throughout this offseason, but the new 49ers GM doesn’t think all of his peers believe him. Lynch said it would be in Kaepernick’s best interests to communicate these desires to remain in the league publicly.

I would tell you with my conversations with Colin, he is fully committed to wanting to be in this league,” Lynch said during an interview with San Francisco radio station KNBR (via Pro Football Talk). “I gave that opinion to Colin myself: ‘I think you are having a little bit of an image crisis in terms of, not so much what you did last year, but people are wondering: Is this most important to you?’ At a position where the guys who succeed at the position are the guys who live it, breathe it, the CEOs at that position. And I think there is a perception that football is not at the top of the list.”

Kaepernick remains a UFA despite several less accomplished quarterbacks landing backup jobs. While he visited the Seahawks and has maintained a public profile on social media, he hasn’t spoken out about his football career this offseason. Late last month, a 49ers employee questioned Kaepernick’s commitment to football, saying he only wants to return to stay relevant.

Here’s more from the Western divisions, first shifting to the 49ers’ Los Angeles-based rival.

  • During Day 2 of the draft, the Rams traded down from No. 37 to 44 and picked up an extra third-round pick from the Bills. Sixth-year GM Les Snead said during Amazon’s “All or Nothing: A Season with the Los Angeles Rams” that he doesn’t get too attached to second-round talents because he’s confident offers will be there to trade out of the spot and stockpile more selections. “You don’t want to pick early second [round] often,” Snead told new HC Sean McVay (via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com). “But when you’re picking early second, never fall in love with a player. You’ll always get an extra third[-round pick].” The Rams selected safety John Johnson with that third-round pick.
  • McVay’s presence and the addition of multiple wideouts this offseason will help Jared Goff, with Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com noting that McVay’s newer-age offense will benefit last year’s No. 1 overall pick more than the Rams’ previous “antiquated” attack. The Rams ranked last in total offense by more than 40 yards last season, at 262.7 per game. The team added Robert Woods in free agency and used third- and fourth-round picks, respectively, on Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds.
  • The Chargers signed a 10-year lease at their new facility in Costa Mesa, Calif., Jack Wang of the Orange County Register reports. The team is committed to lodge there for at least five years, per Wang, who adds that the Bolts have until the end of this month to depart their facility at Chargers Park in their previous city. Costa Mesa is currently serving as the Bolts’ temporary home, but the team hasn’t ruled out staying there on a longer-term basis. Wang reports the Chargers are still looking to secure permanent headquarters elsewhere in the region.

49ers Would Have Cut Colin Kaepernick If He Didn’t Opt Out

John Lynch confirmed today the 49ers would have released Colin Kaepernick if he didn’t opt out of his contract, the first-year GM said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). The 49ers would have had to carry a $14.9MM cap charge if Kaepernick had stayed on the team.

A meeting occurred between Kaepernick and the Lynch/Kyle Shanahan power structure where Shanahan said he wanted to run his same offense that thrived with the Falcons. The dual-threat quarterback wasn’t a classic fit for that scheme. The team soon brought in Brian Hoyer, with whom Shanahan worked with the 2014 Browns, and didn’t see Kaepernick making sense as his backup.

We both sat down and under that current construct of his deal, it was a big [cap] number,” Lynch said. “Kyle had a vision for what he wanted to do, and one thing I think Kyle was very clear and I think Colin appreciated, is that Kyle has an idea of how he’d play with Colin Kaepernick. But he preferred to run the exact offense that he ran in Atlanta last year that was record-breaking in this league. And if you change it for the quarterback, you change it for everybody on that offense.

“Once we pursued [Hoyer], we didn’t see Kaep as a backup that would really fit in that scheme and we communicated that to him. So I think we’ve been very up front with it. But I think that is a fair characterization. Yes, he was not going to be here under the construct of his contract. We gave him the option, ‘You can opt out, we can release you, whatever.’ And he chose to opt out, but that was just a formality.”

Kaepernick remains without a team but has visited the Seahawks, with some league insiders believing he will end up being Russell Wilson‘s backup. Lynch also squashed the notion that the 29-year-old doesn’t want to return to football, one that came from 49ers sources earlier this month.

I feel like that’s part of my job is controlling what comes out of this building, and to the extent that there was a perception that we were contributing to that Colin didn’t want to play football, we wanted to put an end to that,” Lynch said, via Florio. “… We had a great discussion that stuck out with me that this is a guy who is really interested in getting back in this league and playing at the highest level. And I’ve talked to him since, and that very much is the case.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Trubisky, Dolphins, 49ers, Bucs

The Bears played it close to the vest before making their Mitch Trubisky trade from No. 3 to No. 2, one that headlined the draft and one that may have the team’s power structure at odds. Chicago’s brass tried to throw teams off the scent early in the process by sending an armada of personnel to Deshaun Watson‘s pro day while orchestrating a secret dinner meeting with Trubisky, per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. The Bears also “begged” Trubisky’s camp not to leak news of that summit, and that part of the operation succeeded. Ryan Pace followed Dave Caldwell‘s secretive playbook when he made the Blake Bortles pick few expected.

Here’s more from around the league as rookie minicamp sessions are upon us.

  • Charles Harris experienced a similar type of draft misdirection. The Dolphins cancelled a pre-draft visit with the Missouri product without providing a reason for the change of plans. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s messed up,” Harris said, via James Walker of ESPN.com. Miami was linked to edge defenders coming into the draft despite re-signing Cameron Wake and Andre Branch, and Harris fell to the Fins at No. 22 to validate their pre-draft plot. The Dolphins met with Harris at the Combine but didn’t prompt him for a post-Combine workout before the cancellation tactic. “It’s just there are some players that we purposely try and stay away from once we are comfortable with the player, his character and what type of kid we are getting,” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said, via Walker. “We just do not feel the need to spend any more time with them.”
  • John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were split on one of the 49ers’ eventual draft picks, and the coach won out. Lynch had Utah running back Joe Williams off his draft board, but Shanahan convinced the new GM to give the go-ahead for a fourth-round selection, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Shanahan, who was tied to the 49ers midway through the GM hunt and thus received an opportunity for additional control, helped sway Lynch to trade a fifth-round pick to move up in the fourth round and select Williams. The Utes runner’s questionable off-the-field past had Lynch skeptical, but Shanahan saw some promise in the back who ran the Combine’s second-fastest 40 time at 4.41 seconds. With Carlos Hyde entering a contract year, Williams could be a key component of the 49ers’ future.
  • Both Kendell Beckwith and Buccaneers management expect the linebacker to be ready to return by training camp, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Beckwith tore his ACL late during his senior season at LSU last fall. Stroud expects Beckwith to be a possible early-season starter on the strong side, with the writer believing primary 2016 starter Daryl SmithPFR’s No. 4 UFA off-ball linebacker — is closing in on retirement rather than returning for a 14th NFL season.
  • Bucs running back Jeremy McNichols underwent surgery shortly after the Combine to repair a torn labrum, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Laine reports McNichols’ timeline hovers at around four months, noting the Boise State-developed back hopes to be ready for camp. McNichols arrived via fifth-round pick for a Bucs team that has questions about Doug Martin‘s future. The team still employs Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber on the roster. McNichols caught 103 passes at Boise State in three seasons, but Jason Licht views him as a possible three-down back as opposed to a passing-game specialist.

John Lynch Defends Offseason Strategy

John Lynch‘s first offseason as the 49ers general manager may be remembered for the hefty contracts he handed out to a fullback and a former Super Bowl MVP.

John LynchThe organization committed more than $23MM in guaranteed money to fullback Kyle Juszczyk and linebacker Malcolm Smith, leading some pundits to wonder whether agents were looking to take advantage of the new, inexperienced executive. Of course, that sentiment may not be entirely fair, as Lynch has added a number of free agents on favorable deals, including quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, wide receivers/offensive weapons Pierre GarconAldrick Robinson and Marquise Goodwin, tight end Logan Paulsen, linebacker Dekoda Watson, special teamer Don Jones, and kicker Robbie Gould.

Like any GM, Lynch will be forced to answer more questions regarding the “egregious” signings than the shrewd additions. The executive already started addressing his offseason strategy while appearing on San Francisco’s KNBR 680 yesterday. Thanks to CSNBayArea.com, we’re able to pass along some of those quotes below…

On the signings of Juszczyk and Smith:

“We’re proud of those signings. We really are … if you’re sitting there reading everything that people are saying about you and taking it personally, you aren’t gonna be very successful … I think the reason they both got nice contracts is because they were wanted. And we weren’t the only ones that wanted them. In a lot of our situations, we weren’t the highest bidder.”

On whether the two players were enticed by money or the organization:

“Guys came because there’s an exciting vibe here; guys want to be here. None of this means anything until they go play and we go play. But those are two guys we’re very excited to have as part of the 49ers.”

On the team’s negotiations with Juszczyk:

“In that period where the negotiating period started, we were doing some traveling and we got a call and they said, ‘Here’s where it’s at now,’ and we said, ‘Wow,’ because we set in with ‘Hey, to get this guy, we’re gonna have to likely make him the highest paid fullback ever.’ And we were willing to do that…

“But then it kind of got to even another step and we had to all stop and kind of look at each other and go, ‘OK. This is getting real.’ And that’s when we kind of came up the philosophy he’s not just a fullback; he’s an offensive weapon … I’m gonna trust my instincts on what the guy brings, not necessarily what the rest of the market sees him as.

“You can’t go crazy with that, but like I said, we weren’t the only ones interested in this guy … he’s still worth it to us.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Willing To Trade No. 2 Pick

Saddled with more needs than most teams in the NFL, the 49ers are making it clear they’re open for business regarding the No. 2 overall pick. A draft without a surefire No. 2 prospect, after Myles Garrett, has led John Lynch to consider trading down, per Eric Branch and Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

We could stay pat right there and find a fabulous player, a game-changing player,” Lynch said. “It gives us a lot of flexibility to do some other things if we chose to be bold. There are going to be people that covet the pick we have, so there’s going to be some people that want to move up.”

This is the 49ers’ highest draft pick since the franchise held the 2005 No. 1 choice, taking Alex Smith with that opportunity. Lynch acknowledged in a recent radio interview with KNBR the No. 2 selection is a “tremendous asset.” Mock drafts don’t have a consensus for the 49ers at No. 2. Both ESPN.com’s draft expects, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, have the team going quarterback here (Insider links), Kiper sending Mitch Trubisky to San Francisco and McShay envisioning Deshaun Watson impressing the Lynch-led staff enough to invest in him at No. 2. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report recently mocked linebacker Reuben Foster to the 49ers here, and CBS Sports’ Rob Rang pegged Foster’s Alabama teammate, Jonathan Allen, to San Francisco.

Branch and Tafur note the 49ers would presumably be thrilled if the quarterback-starved Browns passed on Garrett, with the 49ers being devoid of a high-end pass-rusher. Cleveland’s trade out of the No. 2 pick last year would help provide a blueprint should the 49ers pull the trigger on a trade. The Eagles surrendered their 2017 first-rounder (No. 12), third- and fourth-round picks last year and a 2018 second-rounder for the right to move up and take Carson Wentz.

Kyle Shanahan acknowledged the 49ers won’t reach for a quarterback. Fronted by Trubisky, Watson and DeShone Kizer, this class has been among the more scrutinized quarterback rookie pools in recent memory. Another team viewing one of these passers in higher regard than the 49ers may be the circumstance that induces a trade.

The worst mistakes you can make is you take a guy who isn’t that good of a player, or worthy of that,” Shanahan said. “The expectations change. You put a guy in a position that is really unfair to him and you set your organization back. And then you’re trying to commit to a guy who … shouldn’t have been put in that position.”

The 49ers have been connected to veteran quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Jay Cutler and Jimmy Garoppolo, and Lynch recently met with Colin Kaepernick, who has an opt-out decision forthcoming. San Francisco has 10 picks in the coming draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.