Kyle Shanahan

NFC West Rumors: McCaffrey, Smith, Lynch

In a recent deep dive on the value of NFL running backs by Dan Pompei of The Athletic, it was revealed that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reportedly liked running back Christian McCaffrey so much coming out of Stanford in 2017 that the team heavily considered taking him at No. 3 overall all in that year’s draft. That would’ve made McCaffrey the highest-drafted running back since Trent Richardson was selected third overall by the Browns in 2012.

Instead, of course, McCaffrey was selected five picks later by the Panthers. McCaffrey would immediately display his skill and versatility upon arrival in the NFL, being named a first-team All-Pro after leading the league in scrimmage yards (2,392) and touchdowns (19) in 2019. The following two years would be hampered with injury, limiting him to only 10 contests over that time, but it wouldn’t deter Shanahan from trading four draft picks for him in 2022, finally attaining the running back he so admired.

The 49ers, of course, selected McCaffrey’s college teammate, defensive end Solomon Thomas at No. 3 in 2017. Thomas failed to reach the heights of his draft stock, leading to his fifth-year option being declined. Unfortunately for Thomas, he would suffer a torn ACL two games into his contract year. Since leaving San Francisco in free agency, he has spent time with the Raiders and, his current team, the Jets.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC West:

  • Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith in playing this season on a shiny new contract that, at the original time of reporting, boasted an amount of $30MM to be earned through incentives. According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, that doesn’t quite appear to be accurate. The supposed “incentives” have now been revealed to be escalators, which unlike incentives, are tied to non-guaranteed bonuses. For example, an incentive would pay Smith $30MM if he were to reach certain statistical benchmarks. In reality, with the escalator, Smith would need to reach those benchmarks and still be on the team’s roster by the fifth day of the new league year in order to boost his $9.6MM roster bonus to $24.6MM. There are a number of statistical benchmarks that Smith is not on track to reach (4,282 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 69.755 percent completion rate, 100.874 passer rating), but he could still cash in on team benchmarks such as a playoff berth or a 10-win season.
  • When 49ers general manager John Lynch was given a multi-year extension alongside Shanahan back in September, the team executive was reportedly given an additional title, as well, to accompany the new contract, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. In addition to his role as GM, Lynch will now also sport the title of president of football operations.

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan Signed Extension Before Regular Season

When 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined general manager John Lynch in signing a new extension, the timing was notable with the team off to a 3-0 start. As the former recently admitted, however, his deal was in place well before that point.

Shanahan said earlier this week that his new contract was in place before the regular season kicked off. That revelation illustrates the confidence the 49ers’ ownership group has in both the 43-year-old and Lynch, who have been in San Francisco since 2017. Shanahan is now set to be in place until at least 2027 after previously being on the books for the next three seasons on his previous pact.

“I feel very grateful,” Shanahan said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle“Being a coach anywhere for a long time, I know what that means. I’m extremely grateful for that. To have that opportunity, mainly for my family to be somewhere for so long, is very cool.”

Given the team’s success since Shanahan and Lynch took over, their latest round of extensions came as little surprise. A number of notable misses at the QB position have taken place during their tenure – highlighted, of course, by the shortcomings of the Trey Lance gamble – but the 49ers have been among the NFC’s elite in recent years. A trip to the Super Bowl, along with conference title game appearances in each of the past two seasons, have earned the team’s decision-makers a longer leash for the time being.

As Shanahan noted in his remarks, he had yet to remain in one NFL posting for more then four years until his current one (seven and counting). The longtime offensive coordinator helped establish his reputation as one of the league’s top minds on that side of the ball during his time with the Falcons in particular (which included a Super Bowl appearance), and his success as a play-caller has continued with the 49ers. When reflecting on his accomplishments in the Bay Area to date, Shanahan noted ownership’s patience in allowing he and Lynch to build the roster into what it has become.

“The commitment [Jed York] gave us and what he said: I really feel like that made us make the right decision those first couple years,” Shanahan added. “Helped build it the right way. That’s really what got us to come here. It allowed us to be patient, do it right and he hasn’t changed ever since.”

Shanahan and the 49ers will look to improve to 4-0 on Sunday, a feat which would make them one of only two teams to sport a perfect record through the first month of the campaign. Continued success this season and beyond would help prove the 49ers’ commitment on the sidelines to be a wise one.

49ers Extend Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch

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.

49ers Were Prepared To Offer No. 2 Overall Pick For Kirk Cousins In 2017

The late 2010s featured three offseasons filled with Kirk Cousins headlines. A number of “what if?” scenarios emerged from the saga that produced two Cousins franchise tags and a fully guaranteed Vikings free agency offer.

Residing as a key player in the Cousins market — due to Kyle Shanahan‘s ties to the productive quarterback — the 49ers removed themselves from the equation back in 2018, when they re-signed then-recent trade acquisition Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan had confirmed at the time the organization had Cousins on the radar between the point of the Garoppolo trade (October 2017) and his extension (February 2018). San Francisco was willing to make a bigger move for Shanahan’s former Washington pupil before that point.

A source rather close to this situation, Mike Shanahan said Kyle was willing to offer Washington the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft for Cousins, via The Athletic’s Alec Lewis (subscription required). The 49ers’ 2-14 showing in 2016 led them to holding the second overall pick in 2017, the first year of the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch regime. After making back-to-back HCs one-and-dones, 49ers CEO Jed York gave Shanahan and Lynch six-year contracts. The second-generation NFL HC appeared prepared to put the long leash to good use in the first weeks of his San Francisco tenure.

At the time, we heard three teams expressed interest in Cousins via trade. Washington had franchise-tagged Cousins in 2016 and was preparing to do so again, and the 49ers always appeared likely to be involved in an effort to acquire him. Prior to venturing to Cleveland and then Atlanta, Kyle Shanahan had coached Cousins for two seasons in Washington, operating as his father’s OC.

An offer of the No. 2 overall pick for a franchise-caliber QB going into his age-29 season would have been interesting, but Mike Shanahan indicated, via Lewis, his former team “wouldn’t even return the phone call.”

Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen ran the Washington franchise at this point, and stability proved elusive. Contentious negotiations took place later that year, with Allen famously mispronouncing Cousins’ first name — the “Kurt” interview — multiple times in the wake of a second round of July negotiations not producing a deal. Cousins, of course, played out a second season on the tag and signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84MM deal with the Vikings in 2018.

This trade proposal also came about during a period that did not feature the quarterback movement the 2020s have brought. This saga played a part in that change. After previously being told Garoppolo was unavailable, the 49ers quickly accepted the Patriots’ offer of the then-Tom Brady backup for a second-rounder. Three months later, Washington agreed to trade for Alex Smith — more than a month before Cousins hit free agency — in 2018.

The 49ers did not carry a starter-level QB into the 2017 season, beginning the year with Brian Hoyer and third-round pick C.J. Beathard as their top options. They had used the high draft choice on Solomon Thomas, trading down with the Bears, who had drafted Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2. The early part of the 49ers’ 2017 draft did not age well, with Thomas going ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson and the team’s No. 31 overall choice (Reuben Foster) washing out after multiple off-field incidents. Shanahan’s team found its footing with Garoppolo in the years to come, though QB headlines have been constant during the Garoppolo-Trey LanceBrock Purdy era in San Francisco.

Cousins, 35, is now in the final year of his third Vikings contract. The team extended its starter for a second time in 2022 but only restructured the deal in 2023. Cousins does not expect another round of Vikes talks until 2024, though he has said many times he wants to stay in Minnesota. It would be unlikely the 49ers would circle back to Cousins were he to reach free agency next year, as Brock Purdy has received steady praise from Shanahan. But with Lance gone and the former Mr. Irrelevant not yet fully entrenched as a long-term option, this door may not be fully closed.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

After the 2022 offseason produced 10 new head coaches, this one brought a step back in terms of turnover. Five teams changed HCs, though each conducted thorough searches — four of them lasting until at least January 31.

The Colts and Cardinals hired their HCs after Super Bowl LVII, plucking the Eagles’ offensive and defensive coordinators (Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon). The Cardinals were hit with a tampering penalty regarding their Gannon search. Conducting their second HC search in two years, the Broncos saw multiple candidates drop out of the running. But Denver’s new ownership group convinced Sean Payton to step out of the FOX studio and back onto the sidelines after just one season away. The Panthers made this year’s first hire (Frank Reich), while the Texans — running their third HC search in three years — finalized an agreement with DeMeco Ryans minutes after the Payton news broke.

Only one of last year’s top 10 longest-tenured HCs lost his job. A turbulent Colts year led to Reich being fired barely a year after he signed an extension. During a rather eventful stretch, Jim Irsay said he reluctantly extended Reich in 2021. The Colts passed on giving interim HC Jeff Saturday the full-time position, despite Irsay previously indicating he hoped the former center would transition to that role. Reich landed on his feet, and after losing Andrew Luck to a shocking retirement just before his second Colts season, the well-regarded play-caller now has another No. 1 pick (Bryce Young) to mentor.

After considering a Rams exit, Sean McVay recommitted to the team and is overseeing a reshaped roster. Andy Reid also sidestepped retirement rumors, staying on with the Chiefs after his second Super Bowl win. This will be Reid’s 25th season as an NFL head coach.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2023 season:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  11. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  12. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders): January 1, 2020
  13. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  14. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  15. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  16. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  17. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  18. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  19. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  20. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  21. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  22. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  23. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  24. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  25. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  26. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  27. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  28. Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers): January 26, 2023
  29. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  30. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  31. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  32. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023

Latest On 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo

The 49ers endured one of the more bizarre situations under center in 2022, highlighted by their ability to qualify for the NFC title game despite major injuries being suffered by each of their top three quarterbacks. That leaves their outlook heading into the offseason rather cloudy, with the likely exception of Jimmy Garoppolo.

The veteran was long thought to be on his way out of the Bay Area last offseason, with Trey Lance formally named the team’s starter moving forward. Garoppolo’s offseason shoulder surgery complicated a potential acquisition, though, and he remained in the Bay Area on a re-worked contract. That proved to be a wise move for both parties, after Lance’s ankle injury thrust Garoppolo back into the starter’s role.

The 31-year-old won seven of his 10 starts this year, helping keep the team stay consistent on offense. Garoppolo played himself into consideration for another 49ers pact, but he suffered yet another major injury which kept him sidelined for the stretch run and postseason. In no small part because of that, he is expected to depart in free agency this time around.

Garoppolo has long been considered one of the league’s best locker room presences and a team-friendly passer to build around. However, the tone struck by head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch during the team’s season-ending media availabilities pointed to tension between themselves and the former Patriots second-rounder. Indeed, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic notes that the relationship between Garoppolo and San Francisco’s brain trust “seems to have gone a bit south” in the time leading up to the NFC championship game (subscription required).

A Garoppolo return was at one point thought to be in play before the 49ers’ loss to the Eagles, but the Super Bowl was understood to be the earliest point at which he realistically would have been able to suit up. That scenario never developed, with rookie sensation Brock Purdy and emergency backup Josh Johnson each suffering injuries in the NFC title game. Kawakami adds that he isn’t aware of a singular incident which led to a cooling of relations around Garoppolo, but the latter’s presence in 2023 would no doubt complicate the situation with Lance and Purdy.

Given the current QB landscape in the NFL, Garoppolo is likely to have no shortage of suitors. The Jets – who have been connected countless times to a potential Aaron Rodgers trade and recently met with free agent Derek Carr – have reportedly done homework on him. Given his background in the Bay Area, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo names the Texans (now led by HC DeMeco Ryans) as another squad to watch (video link). He adds the Titans, Raiders and Buccaneers to the list of potential destinations for Garoppolo, who will become increasingly sought-after if the likes of Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones and Geno Smith play on the franchise tag.

Garoppolo’s impressive win-loss record in San Francisco is weighed down by his myriad of injury troubles, but leaving the team on a relatively sour note would represent an underwhelming end to his tenure there. He figures to have plenty of options with respect to his next chapter, however.

49ers Expected Commanders To Trade For Jimmy Garoppolo; Browns Were Interested In FA Deal

Compared to the offseasons leading up to the 2020s, this decade has brought more movement among veteran quarterbacks. While the 49ers are now grateful their efforts to become part of this year’s action-packed QB carousel failed, as Trey Lance is out for the season, they expected Jimmy Garoppolo to end up somewhere else.

John Lynch has said he was talking to multiple teams at the Combine about moving the longtime San Francisco QB1. One of those appears to be the Commanders. During the initial part of Garoppolo’s complex year, before his shoulder surgery, the 49ers believed the Commanders would be the team that traded for the ninth-year passer, according to Tim Keown and Nick Wagoner of Indeed, fellow ESPN scribe Adam Schefter reports that San Francisco and Washington had the parameters of a deal in place, a deal that would have involved multiple draft picks.

With Ron Rivera indicating the Commanders were pursuing several veteran QBs this offseason — one that included a three-first-rounder offer for Russell Wilson — it was already clear that Garoppolo was on the team’s radar. But the March shoulder surgery — a procedure Garoppolo’s camp believed he could avoid — changed everything, leading to a months-long market standstill. Ian Rapoport of reiterates the Commanders’ interest in Garoppolo, and he adds that the Colts were involved as well. That jibes with RapSheet’s reporting from earlier this year, though other reports indicated Indy was not particularly serious.

Regardless, teams were plainly concerned about Garoppolo’s timetable and his willingness to accept a pay cut, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Shortly after it became known Garoppolo would undergo shoulder surgery, the Colts swung a deal for Matt Ryan and Washington moved on to Carson Wentz, acquiring the former No. 2 overall pick for two Day 2 draft choices and a 2022 second-round pick swap.

Such a haul would have been a value coup for the 49ers, who were staring at the prospect of releasing Garoppolo. But the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes again hinge on their injury-hounded starter remaining available. Garoppolo’s 2018 ACL tear did not appear to derail a Super Bowl threat, but his 2020 ankle malady certainly hurt one. The 30-year-old passer’s three injuries last season (calf, thumb, shoulder) limited him at points, with the latter two issues plaguing him in the playoffs.

It was right in the middle of training camp, [Kyle Shanahan] kind of just called me in one day and threw out the idea, and it really wasn’t even on my radar until he said something about it,” Garoppolo said of the team’s offer to bring him back on a restructured deal, via Albert Breer of “And then he kind of laid it out and obviously the restructure is what it is, I think it had to be done just with the situation. I know it sounds weird, but things kind of just fell into place, honestly. It wasn’t like I was planning on this happening or anything.

… I mean, honestly, at one point, I didn’t think I was going to be a Niner. I was pretty set on going to a couple different teams I had in mind. And then all of a sudden things switched last second.”

Lynch initially approached Shanahan about circling back to Garoppolo, according to ESPN, but the sixth-year HC did not expect Garoppolo to accept a backup role or a restructure that reduced his salary. Garoppolo was set to make $24.2MM in base salary; that number is down to $6.5MM. But the incentive package that can move the deal to $15.45MM has already begun paying out. Garoppolo receives $250K for each game in which he takes at least 25% of the offensive snaps. Each game in which that snap threshold is met and the 49ers win produces another $100K.

Had the restructure not occurred and a Garoppolo release took place, ESPN adds the Browns were prepared to explore a free agency addition. Conflicting reports emerged about Cleveland’s interest in adding Garoppolo as a better Deshaun Watson fill-in option, with the five-game add-on to the new Browns starter’s suspension igniting these rumors. Although the 49ers gave other teams permission to negotiate a revised deal with Garoppolo, the Browns joined the rest of the NFL in being unwilling to part with assets for him. The Rams were interested in a possible Garoppolo free agency deal; the Seahawks were also believed to be interested in such an agreement. Instead, Garoppolo re-emerged to lead the 49ers to a one-sided win over Seattle.

Jacoby Brissett will be asked to complete the 11-game bridge to Watson, while Wentz is still on the Eagles extension he signed in 2019. The Commanders have him signed through 2024, though no guaranteed money is on the deal beyond this season. Garoppolo is on track for free agency in 2023.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

John Lynch Addresses Decision To Turn Down Amazon Offer

John Lynch came out of nowhere, at least regarding a personnel background, to become the 49ers’ general manager in 2017. The Hall of Fame safety had spent most of the previous decade as a FOX analyst. Amid a run of NFL broadcast-booth changes this offseason, Amazon presented Lynch a lucrative offer to return to the booth.

The sixth-year San Francisco GM turned down Amazon’s offer — one reportedly worth far more than his GM salary — to stay with the 49ers. He decided to do so shortly after the team’s season-ending loss to the Rams.

Kyle [Shanahan] asked me to address the team, and that’s when the clarity really came to me because I didn’t know,” Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, regarding how he would proceed with Amazon. “I wasn’t going to address it [the job offer] until after the season.

I looked at myself and said, ‘How do I sit up here and address these guys and talk about having the fortitude to fight through the pain of losing a game like this and then turn around and bolt on them?’ I couldn’t do it. I knew right then what I was going to do. I’m happy to be a part of the Niners.”

During a historically unstable period in which the 49ers went through four head coaches in four years, Shanahan took the reins in 2017. Lynch came in soon after. Both received six-year contracts. The 49ers showed patience in the duo, which struggled during a two-year stretch largely spent without a viable starting quarterback, and it paid off when the 2019 team made a surprise Super Bowl LIV run. Shanahan and Lynch signed extensions in 2020, and the 2021 season put the team back on track.

Shanahan and 49ers CEO Jed York advised Lynch to listen to Amazon’s offer. The 50-year-old exec spent nine seasons in the booth, working with FOX from 2008-16. Three years remain on Lynch’s 49ers extension, with this year — which is expected to feature a Jimmy Garoppolo trade and Trey Lance‘s ascension — being a key point on the Shanahan-Lynch regime’s timeline.

It’s silly. It’s stupid. It really is,” Lynch said. “When Amazon came and started talking to me, I said, ‘You want to pay me what? Are you serious? Are you sure?‘”

The winning coach from that NFC title game, Sean McVay, also had to fend off network interest during an offseason that has seen FOX, NBC and ESPN’s top broadcast teams broken up. Amazon played a role in this, with longtime NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels signing on with the league’s newest broadcast partner. Amazon, which has Kirk Herbstreit set to work with Michaels, will air Thursday-night games this season. Given the money being thrown around to top-tier announcers following Tony Romo‘s CBS extension, active coaches, execs and players will likely continue to be linked to TV gigs.

Latest On 49ers’ Offensive Line Situation

Last year saw the 49ers advance to their second NFC Championship game in the last three years, but the offensive line that took them there is set to look a bit different as San Francisco readies for the 2022 NFL season. The 49ers’ left guard for the last five seasons, Laken Tomlinson, is now a Jet, Tom Compton, who started seven regular season games and all three playoff games at right tackle for the team when Mike McGlinchey went down with an injury last year, is now in Denver, and last year’s starting center, Alex Mack, officially announced his retirement this week. 

San Francisco should be set at left tackle and right guard with 12-year veteran Trent Williams manning the blindside and Daniel Brunskill starting just right of center for the past two seasons. Though Compton, who played well in his time as an injury-replacement last year, is gone, the 49ers do return McGlinchey from injury to fill the right tackle spot. McGlinchey is heading into a contract year and will try to earn himself a solid second deal with his production this season. He’s been strong while run-blocking in his career, but started off with some struggles in pass-protection. McGlinchey was showing some improvement in his pass-pro before his injury last season, and the 49ers will likely give him a chance to show he can be the whole package.

With those three spots manned, the conversation now turns to left guard and center. The favorite to fill in at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Aaron Banks. Banks was slowed in his rookie-season by a preseason shoulder injury, leading to him appearing in nine games but only seeing five offensive snaps last season, getting most of his playing time on special teams. McGlinchey’s former-teammate at Notre Dame made tremendous progress throughout the season, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan even said that Banks could have replaced Brunskill in the lineup late last season, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team held off on making that switch as they surged into the postseason with plenty of success, but with an opening at guard this year, it’s hard to imagine Banks not getting his opportunity.

At center, the options are much less clear-cut. With Mack gone, the only player on the roster with an NFL start at center is former undrafted free agent Jake Brendel, who started three games for the Dolphins in 2018. Brendel has been taking first-team snaps at center in practices, according to another article from Branch. General manager John Lynch claims that the team has “a lot of confidence in (Brendel’s) ability,” despite Brendel not being “a household name.” The 49ers also brought in their own undrafted rookie this year in Dohnovan West, who was Arizona State’s starting center all three years of his collegiate career.

Unless San Francisco plans to try some other rostered offensive line reserves at center this year, they may need to go to the free agent market. This would continue a trend that Lynch and the Niners have followed over the past few years of signing an impact free agent interior lineman in the weeks after the Draft. 2017 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Brandon Fusco in early May, 2018 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Michael Person in early May, and 2019 saw the addition of part-time starting center Ben Garland in late April.

Available free agent centers include NFLPA president J.C. Tretter, former Broncos and Panthers center Matt Paradis, former Bengals starting center Trey Hopkins, and former Texans lineman Nick Martin. Lynch may mean what he says and Brendel may be their man in the middle, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 49ers act on some of the available experience out there on the market.

With three spots filled with experienced starters and two very real options to fill the other two spots, San Francisco is on their way to building their offensive line for next season. Whether the five lineman running with the first team now will be the Week 1 starters is yet to be seen, but Lynch and Shanahan are aware of their options and may not be done addressing the position group just yet.