Say what you want about his experience in the front office, San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch continues to outshine his predecessor in a multitude of ways that are refreshing for both fans and the media.
Cutting players with character issues: Over the weekend, John Lynch acted swiftly and matter-of-factly in releasing former CB and likely starter Tramaine Brock almost immediately after Brock was arrested for alleged domestic violence . His predecessor was famously passive in not doing anything about Ray McDonald after McDonald was arrested for domestic violence, only cutting McDonald after he was named in a second incident involving violence toward a woman. Similarly, Baalke gave Aldon Smith about 4 strikes before finally cutting him. While Baalke may have given lip service to wanting character and integrity, Lynch has spoken with his actions and Baalke’s track record was terrible: 14 arrests of 49ers players since 2012 under Baalke’s watch.
Using and working with the media: While the 49ers former GM did little to hide his dislike for the media by minimizing his contact and providing dry, canned responses that were boring and usually not informative, he also failed to see the potential of using the media to inject positivity and energy into the fanbase and organization. John Lynch, on the other hand, has a twitter account, provides charismatic and dynamic interviews and sees the potential in connecting with the past and fans alike by making public statements like this:
My family and I were truly saddened … pic.twitter.com/YVbadFDnBE
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) March 20, 2017
Needless to say, members of the media are taking notice and expressing appreciation for John Lynch’s media savvy:
John Lynch just stepped into Levi’s media room and did a rather impressive job of remembering several names, already. He’s a people person.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 9, 2017
Tim Hightower using the Brick by Brick hashtag. John Lynch is a selling point. Jed may have hit a homerun there. https://t.co/P5uGAf0Twa
— Jerod Brown (@JerodBrown_) April 2, 2017
While some might argue that Lynch should do less media, we’ve argued about why his media savvy is an upgrade for the organization.
Being active in free agency and at skilled, offensive positions: former 49ers GM Trent Baalke was almost invariably an object at rest during free agency, usually choosing to not spend on marquee players or positions. In contrast, John Lynch has been almost hyperactive in free agency in 2017 and his moves were given accolades by Vinnie Iyer of the sporting news and can be seen here.
While some will argue that Lynch was compelled to be more active in free agency due to the salary cap, one can’t deny that Lynch has prioritized offensive positions in a way that has not been seen by the 49ers organization for some time. Aside from RB Frank Gore, who was not drafted by Baalke, the 49ers have been swinging and missing at QB, RB and WR for a long time now.
— Al Sacco (@AlSacco49) March 28, 2017
John Lynch has brought in WRs Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson, Marquise Goodwin, DeAndre Carter, TE Logan Paulsen, FB Kyle Juszczyk, RBs DuJuan Harris, Tim Hightower, QBs Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and is all but guaranteed to be homing in on a potential franchise QB in the draft or a trade.
We know that Super Bowls are not won in the off-season, but when John Lynch does not draft a single player with an ACL injury in the 2017 NFL Draft, you can be sure that he won the off-season in a way his predecessor never did.