After Kyle Shanahan's new 49ers contract, focus turns to John Lynch


The 49ers on Monday announced the signing of coach Kyle Shanahan to a contract extension through the 2025 season.

The deal, which the 49ers announced, is clearly an encouraging sign for an organization that took a chance when it hired Shanahan, a first-time head coach, to a six-year contract in 2017.

CEO Jed York replaced the three years Shanahan has already coached with another three years at the back end of the contract.

The new deal places Shanahan among the top-five paid coaches in the NFL, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Albert Breer of reports New England’s Bill Belichick, New Orleans’s Sean Payton, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, Seattle's Pete Carroll and the Raiders' Jon Gruden are all making $10 million or more annually.

Shanahan's new deal places him anywhere from third to fifth in conpensation, depending on the metric used to determine pay, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The good news for the 49ers is they have some stability at head coach for the first time in a long, long time.

Think about this: Shanahan becomes the first 49ers coach to sign a contract extension since Steve Mariucci agreed to a deal in 1999 that added two years to the original deal he signed in 1997. He was eventually fired heading into the final year of his contract.

After Mariucci, the 49ers had a string of head coaches – Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly – who never made it to the end of their first contracts with the organization.

The only surprise is that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were not signed at the same time to ensure they remain together on contracts that expire at the same time. The team is known to be intent on signing Lynch to a deal that also keeps him in place through 2025, but Shanahan’s negotiations fell into place more quickly as his original contract lagged behind the rest of the league. Shanahan was believed to make approximately $5 million per season on his original six-year deal.

Conversely, with fewer turnover among NFL general managers, Lynch's contract is believed to still stack up favorably against his peers.

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The successes the 49ers achieved in 2019 are a testament to how well Shanahan and Lynch have worked together in the dramatic rebuilding of the organization from the state of disrepair to which the roster had fallen under general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers had a rough start in 2017, beginning with first-round draft picks of defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and linebacker Reuben Foster. The team lost their first nine games of the season before swinging a trade to land quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from New England in the middle of the season.

The 49ers went 10-22 in the first two Shanahan-Lynch seasons but were building a talented roster, which included 2017 fifth-round draft pick George Kittle. The club added a major piece to the defense with the selection of defensive end Nick Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

The 49ers started quickly in 2019, starting the season 8-0 to surprise most of the football world. The club finished 13-3 to win the NFC West and earn home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs. The 49ers rolled through the NFC playoffs with 17-point victories over Minnesota and Green Bay, before blowing 10-point fourth-quarter lead in a 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

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Shanahan's record in three seasons is 23-25. The 49ers were 2-1 in the postseason.

Lynch was named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after the 49ers' turnaround season in 2019.

As much as the 49ers have to feel good about the deal that came together quickly Monday to lock up Shanahan for the next six seasons, the priority remains for the organization to ensure his pairing with Lynch lasts for a while, too.

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