John Lynch has done pretty much everything there is to do in the NFL, except coach. He played for 15 seasons, and after retiring went into broadcasting, as many players do. But he didn’t make a career out of his TV work. Instead, he ended up going a different route and became the general manager of the 49ers.
After playing both football and baseball at Stanford, Lynch was drafted by the Buccaneers in the third round (No. 82 overall) in the 1993 NFL draft.
He was a dominant safety during his prime when he was with the Bucs, with whom he played 11 seasons before going to the Broncos for the final four seasons of his career.
He totaled 1,054 tackles in his career, including three seasons with more than 100. In his 224 regular-season games, Lynch had 26 interceptions and 13 sacks. He was named to the Pro Bowl nine times in his career. Lynch was inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame in October 2016 and entered the Bucs’ Ring of Honor the following month.
Lynch was part of the 2002 Bucs team that won XXXVII. He recorded 15 tackles during that postseason run, including six in the Super Bowl. He also helped the Broncos get to the AFC Championship game in the 2005 season, when they lost to the Steelers 34-17.
Lynch ultimately made seven trips to the postseason — five with Tampa Bay, two with Denver — and played in 12 games. In those contests, he had 52 tackles and two interceptions.
Lynch joined the NFL on Fox broadcast team in 2008, less than a week after announcing his retirement. He would remain in that role through the 2016 season.
Then, on Jan. 29, 2017, he was named the 49ers’ GM. It didn’t take him long to make an impact from the front office. In the 2017 draft, he took TE George Kittle with the 146th overall pick, and Kittle has turned into one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league; he caught 88 balls for 1,377 yards.
Lynch’s charitable work goes back to his playing career. In 2006, he was awarded the Bart Starr Award, which recognizes a player who showcases strong leadership and character at home, on the field, and in the community.
Lynch also won the Byron “Whizzer” White Award, given to a player for serving his team, community, and country. Lynch founded the John Lynch Foundation in 2000. The charitable foundation works to develop the next generation of leaders.
Hall of Fame snub?
Lynch has been a finalist in Hall of Fame voting six times, most recently in 2018. Each year that passes without him being voted in, there are more retired players who become eligible for induction, giving Lynch more competition for votes.
While he had a good career, including a Super Bowl title, none of his stats really jump out as being worthy of getting into the Hall of Fame. And as he has failed to get into the Top 10 in voting each of the last two years, it appears that the Hall of Fame voters may agree with that assessment.
Lynch hasn’t run out of eligibility yet, so he still may be voted into the Hall, but as he waits longer it doesn’t look as likely that that will happen for the player-broadcaster-GM.