Lynch shares why Shanahan got 49ers extension before him

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The 2020 offseason saw the 49ers lock up three of the organization's most important personnel on long-term contract extensions: general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan and All-Pro tight end George Kittle.

But many were surprised by the timeline by which the organization elected to put pen to paper on each of the extensions. Shanahan's was confirmed by NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco in mid-June, while Lynch's extension wasn't confirmed by Maiocco until late July. But as Lynch told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami, the extensions were being discussed as early as February for both Shanahan and Lynch.

"The first I heard of it was at Super Bowl," Lynch said on "The TK Show" earlier this week. "Jed talked to us both at that time, not together but talked to us individually and he told me straight up 'Hey, Kyle is gonna go first and here's why.' And there were reasons, and Kyle did, and Kyle got his done.

"My timing wasn't as good, but kind of like Kittle's contract, both sides wanted to get something done, it took some time to get some certainty on the world and then we figured it out and Jed was spectacular to me, he was great to Kyle, and so, we're very much tied at the hip."

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Lynch and Shanahan were brought in together back in 2017, as the 49ers wanted the two to be in sync right away. After taking over a team that went 2-14 in 2016 under Chip Kelly, the 49ers built through the draft and acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo via trade from the New England Patriots midway through their first season at the helm.


Just three seasons into their tenure in San Francisco, the 49ers found themselves in the Super Bowl, coming up just short of bringing a sixth Lombardi Trophy to the Bay Area. 

Now locked up for another half-decade alongside their fifth-round pick turned All-Pro tight end, the 49ers are positioned to solidify their place atop the NFC, and potentially even atop the NFL.