49ers GM John Lynch Responds to Team’s Pursuit of Ndamukong Suh

John Lynch Nick Bosa

Getty John Lynch celebrates a 49ers win over the Rams with Nick Bosa on October 3, 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers were among the teams aiming to claim former first-round edge rusher Jerry Tillery, who was waived by the Los Angeles Chargers before being claimed off waivers by the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, November 14. But was he the only defender the 49ers had interest in?

Turns out the 49ers expressed interest in another past first-round defensive line talent — but this one a five-time Pro Bowler and past Super Bowl winner once described as “nasty” and “dominant” in his scouting report.

John Lynch: Ndamukong Suh Signing With 49ers ‘Never Came to Fruition’

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Ndamukong Suh to a one-year deal on Thursday, November 17. Suh, who won the 2021 Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, arrives to Philly during a period where the Eagles are aiming to shore up their run defense as noted by Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo.

Turns out the Eagles website had one of the top-searched scouting reports of Suh’s game when he entered the league in 2010, describing how Suh “has a nasty attitude and aggressively hunts ball handlers down. Relatively instinctive, quick locating the ball, and slides off blocks laterally to make plays against the run.”

But with Suh being available in free agency, was there ever any interest between the 6-foot-4, 313-pounder and the 49ers? General manager John Lynch dove into that theory during his appearance on the Thursday edition of the Tolbert and Copes Show on KNBR.

“We talked to him last year, and we talked to him earlier this year, and it just never came to fruition,” Lynch said on the show on November 17. “I think, ultimately, it sounds like he really sought the Eagles as a place he wanted to be, and you can’t get them all. He’s a good football player who’s on the backend of his career, but I’m sure he’ll help them, and a good pickup for the Eagles.”

Had Suh been picked up, the move would’ve assisted a 49ers interior defensive line that has had to operate without Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Arik Armstead (foot and ankle injuries) for most of the year. Adding Suh would’ve also formed a fearsome tag team with Pro Bowl edge rusher Nick Bosa plus potentially form a towering duo with 6-foot-5 Charles Omenihu.

Injury Updates Ahead of 49ers-Cardinals Matchup

Speaking of Kinlaw, his return will still have to wait longer.

Kinlaw has been dealing with knee swelling from a previous ACL tear. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reported Thursday that the 2020 first-rounder did not travel with the team to practice in Colorado Springs.

Barrows added how he didn’t see Armstead either, or fellow edge rusher Samson Ebukam.

In the absence of both interior linemen, Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway has taken the inside load with 264 and 209 defensive snaps, respectively, per Pro Football Focus. Omenihu has also slid inside on certain defensive looks while fellow defensive end Kerry Hyder played in 26 snaps as a left defensive tackle in the 22-16 win over the Chargers on Sunday, November 13.

The Week 11 opponent the Arizona Cardinals, however, are dealing with their own injury pileup. Notable injuries include three Pro Bowlers in safety Budda Baker, tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver De’Andre Hopkins as noted by Barrows.

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