49ers GM John Lynch clarifies statement on not being an NFL 'lifer'


While signaling last week that he would soon be signing a contract extension, 49ers general manager John Lynch made a parenthetical comment that attracted some attention.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be a lifer at this thing, but I love what we’re doing,” Lynch said during an appearance on KNBR’s Murph & Mac Show.

On Monday, Lynch said he was not foreshadowing his early exit. He said he fully intends to remain as 49ers general manager through the 2024 season. Lynch agreed an extension to remain with the club for five more seasons after a season in which he was named NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.

“In terms of not being a lifer, I think I was just commenting, I don't know really how long I'll do this for,” Lynch said Monday on a video call with Bay Area reporters. “I know I'll do it for the next five years. I'm having a blast doing it. I love coming to work each and every day.

“When I said that, I kind of said 'Aw, no, that's going to become a story,' and really there's nothing to it.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]


Lynch, 48, played 15 NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos. He then worked as a TV analyst from 2009 through ’16. Lynch and his wife, Linda, have four children, two of whom are attending college.

“My wife has been tremendous when I played for 15 years and then traveled for broadcasting, but she loves this and they're a part of it,” Lynch said. “So everything's good right now. I kind of live in the moment, and that's nothing really to that comment.”

The 49ers have found a combination that works with Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan, who earlier in the offseason signed a contract extension through the 2025 season is a lock to set a personal record of living more than four years in one spot during his coaching career. Shanahan became the first 49ers coach to sign a contract extension since Steve Mariucci in 1999.

“I'll tell you, that was a huge accomplishment in our house to where it didn't hit me until we got it,” Shanahan said. “Me and my wife, she joined this when we got married at 25, and I never lived anywhere in my life longer than four years.

”My family kind of celebrated a little bit because the first time I told my kids, depending on how this year goes, but I feel like we're going to pass the four-year mark after that. That was a personal accomplishment for us, that the Shanahan household was happy with.”

[RELATEDShanahan optimistic 49ers, Kittle will get contract done]

Shanahan, 40, never wanted to do anything in his professional life other than coach football. His father, Mike Shanahan, last coached in 2013 at the age of 61. But even Kyle Shanahan does not envision growing old in this job.

“None of us are lifers,” he said. “We don’t want to do it until we’re 80.”