The 49ers are headed to their first Super Bowl in seven years, with a chance to win the organization's sixth title in the third year of the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era.
Shanahan and Lynch each signed six-year contracts when the 49ers hired the coach and general manager, respectively, in 2017. In the aftermath of Sunday's NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers, 49ers CEO Jed York told the Bay Area News Group's Cam Inman that he's open to extending Shanahan and Lynch's contracts.
“I want those guys here for a long time,” York told Inman. “If they want to do something, I’d be happy to do it.”
The 49ers started 0-9 in Shanahan and Lynch's first season atop the organization, but San Francisco won the last six games of the season after trading for then-New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to finish 6-10. Garoppolo's torn ACL set the 49ers back in a 4-12 campaign in 2018, but the team reloaded in a major way over the ensuing offseason.
Drafting edge rusher Nick Bosa, trading for edge rusher Dee Ford and signing linebacker Kwon Alexander supplemented the strong building blocks on defense, and the 49ers' three-headed monster of Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida in the backfield gave San Francisco one of the NFL's most prolific rushing attacks. The combination resulted in a 13-3 regular season, the 49ers' best since 2011, and the NFC's top seed.
Now, the 49ers are one win away from their first Super Bowl win in a quarter-century, with the high-octane Kansas City Chiefs and reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes standing in their way. York credited the culture Shanahan and Lynch have built in three seasons in Santa Clara.
“Those guys do have each other’s back,” York told Inman. “Not that it’s been perfect. Not that we’ve made every single right decision. But when the culture is right, when you have each other’s back, it gives you a chance. You need some level of talent, which we have on this team, but if you don’t have the culture, you have no chance.”
The 49ers haven't had much harmony among all three of ownership, management and coaching since their glory days -- and not even during all of that period -- but it's clear York thinks they have it right now.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).