SANTA CLARA — The 49ers were an organization mired in dysfunction for years.
Things were so bad -- and fixing the on-field product was seen as such a challenge -- that 49ers CEO Jed York signed coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch to six-year contracts in 2017.
The new regime made a quick move on the first day of free agency, signing seven players to contracts. They were the first players acquired by Shanahan and Lynch.
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They brought the new players to the stage at Levi's Stadium: Quarterback Brian Hoyer, receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, tight end Logan Paulsen, linebacker Malcolm Smith, kicker Robbie Gould and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Only Juszczyk remains from that original group.
“That’s crazy,” Juszczyk said on the latest "49ers Talk" podcast episode.
That season began with nine consecutive losses. In the years that followed, Shanahan and Lynch have signed two contract extensions as the 49ers have risen to be among the best teams in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers
“I take a ton of pride in that,” Juszczyk said.
The 49ers last week announced multiyear contract extensions for the two men atop the organization’s football department.
Lynch is signed at least through 2026, while Shanahan’s contract last through at least 2027.
“I mean, just well-deserved,” Juszczyk said. “I’d want to do the same thing if I was an owner. I’d want to lock them up for as long as possible. What they’ve been able to do with his organization is so admirable and so impressive.”
The 49ers have not added to their franchise’s trophy case. But they have built a team that gives them a chance to compete for a championship. The 49ers have reached the NFL’s final four in three of the past four seasons.
“It wasn’t stable here and they were building from the ground up,” Juszczyk said of Shanahan and Lynch.
“Legitimately, all new players, all new coaches. And they had to build a culture and foundation, and they really did that. We feel like we have a true winning culture here and one that should last a long time.”
The commitment team ownership has awarded to Shanahan and Lynch has an impact in the locker room, too. Juszczyk said knowing the decision-makers have as much job security as possible in the turbulent NFL world creates a sense of clarity for the players.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It just motivates you more to work hard because you know it’s going toward something that’s valuable.”