The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that they have extended head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Per the announcements, the two are in agreement on multi-year contract extensions.
Shanahan’s current deal was set to run through the 2025 season with Lynch’s contract coming to a conclusion following the 2024 campaign. Both are now locked up long term.
This announcement came one day after San Francisco moved to 3-0 on the season via a dominating 30-12 win over the New York Giants in its home opener. The 49ers have now won 13 consecutive regular-season games and 15 of 16, postseason included.
Shanahan and Lynch came to the 49ers as a packaged deal ahead of the 2017 season. Prior to their arrival, San Francisco had posted a combined 7-25 record over the previous two seasons with one-and-done head coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.
Since then, the 49ers have posted a 55-46 record under Shanahan and Lynch. That includes three NFC Championship Game appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl.
San Francisco 49ers Brass Earn Extensions Amid Historic Run
The 49ers’ streak of 13 consecutive regular-season wins ranks second behind the 1989-1990 version of the team in franchise history. San Francisco went on to win the Super Bowl following the 1989 season before losing to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game the following season.
All of this comes with the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, quarterback Brock Purdy, also in the midst of an historic run. He’s the first quarterback in league history to win each of his first six starts while throwing two-plus touchdowns in each outing.
Purdy is now 8-0 in the regular season and 10-1 if you include the playoffs. His only loss came against the Philadelphia Eagles in last season’s conference title game when the then-rookie went down to an elbow injury on the first possession.
Shanahan and Lynch have built one of the most-talented rosters in the league. From adding All-Pros such as Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Talanoa Hufanga in the NFL Draft to trading for stars, Christian McCaffrey and Trent Williams, there have been a whole lot of hits when it comes to this power duo.
There have also been misses. San Francisco’s decision to trade up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, ultimately selecting quarterback Trey Lance, proved to be an utter failure. Lance was traded to the Dallas Cowboys ahead of Week 1 for a mere fourth-round pick. He threw all of 102 regular-season passes with San Francisco. The cost to acquire him was two first-round picks and change.
Shanahan and Lynch also dropped the ball during their first NFL Draft in Santa Clara, selecting defensive tackle Solomon Thomas and linebacker Reuben Foster in the first round. Thomas recorded just six sacks in four seasons with the 49ers. Foster lasted less than two full seasons in San Francisco due to off-field issues.
But that very same draft was a harbinger of things to come in the mid-rounds for this duo. San Francisco picked up future All-Pro tight end George Kittle in the fifth round.
Over the following drafts, San Francisco would find gems in the mid-to-late rounds. Fred Warner (third round, 2018), Dre Greenlaw (fifth round, 2019), Jauan Jennings (seventh round, 2020) and Talanoa Hufanga (fifth-round, 2021) are obvious examples of this. The late-round success then culminated in 2022 when the 49ers nabbed Purdy with the final pick in that year’s NFL Draft.
Pressure on Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch
Regular-season wins are fine and dandy. Racking them up helps a team earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, enhancing their odds of earning a trip to the Super Bowl.
But given the success Shanahan and Lynch have had, it’s now Super Bowl or bust. San Francisco has not hoisted the Lombardi since January of 1995.
It has had some near misses in recent years, including blowing a double-digit fourth quarter lead to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV back in February of 2020. San Francisco’s next appearance in the playoffs following the 2021 season also saw the team blow a late lead. That came to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers found themselves up 17-7 after three, only to lose by the score of 20-17.
Sensing a theme here? San Francisco CEO Jed York did not extend Lynch and Shanahan for more postseason failures to be part of the lexicon in Northern California. Both now understand that the Lombardi Trophy much be part of the conversation in the not-so-distant future. For the 49ers, that will preferably happen in Las Vegas this coming February.