Former 49ers executive Martin Mayhew hasn't been in his new role as general manager of the Washington Football Team for long, but he already has an idea of what he would like his working relationship to resemble with head coach Ron Rivera thanks to what he learned in San Francisco.
Mayhew, who spent four years in the 49ers front office and the last two as San Francisco's vice president of player personnel, knows the trials and tribulations a front office and coaching staff can face very well. Sure, 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are no exception to that. Still, Mayhew took note of their working relationship, and why it has been so successful thus far.
"They didn't agree always, but they maintained a closeness and never lost focus of what the ultimate goals were," Mayhew said Wednesday in his introductory press conference (h/t Niners Nation's Akash Anavarathan).
That lesson certainly will carry over to Mayhew's new role with Washington. The Football Team officially announced they hired Mayhew, who is Black, on Jan. 22. As a result, the 49ers will receive a 2023 third-round compensatory pick under the league's efforts to promote diversity in hiring.
Mayhew's relationship with Lynch stems back to the 1990s, when the two were teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1993 to 1996. The 55-year-old spent four years as a cornerback with Washington from 1988 to 1992. After his playing days ended, he worked as an executive for the Detroit Lions (2001 to ]15) before spending 2016 with the New York Giants' front office. Mayhew was hired by the 49ers in 2017 and spent two seasons as the team's senior personnel executive.
Mayhew should have his work cut out for him in his new position, but the future looks bright. The Football Team finished 7-9 on the year in 2020, made the playoffs by winning the lowly NFC East. Washington secured its first playoff berth since 2015. The Football Team ultimately fell in the Wild Card game to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-23.