John Lynch was nearly a rich man after the NFC Championship game.
How rich? The San Francisco 49ers general manager, known for helping dish out the cash when it comes to signing players for S.F., was offered his own blockbuster deal during the offseason — the kind that would’ve paid him up to $15 million annually.
But this deal wasn’t through the 49ers. Nor was it any other general manager deal. It was from Amazon, in the streaming giant’s attempt to lure the GM back to the broadcast booth.
Lynch eventually said yes to the 49ers. But on Sunday, June 5, he revealed the reason why he turned down the reported $15 million deal.
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‘I Couldn’t do it’
David Lombardi of The Athletic caught up with Lynch at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event held during the weekend of June 4 — celebrating the life of legacy of the late legendary 49er best known for “The Catch” that eventually helped lead to four Super Bowl titles in the 1980s.
Lombardi shared the “powerful realization” Lynch had following the 49ers’ devastating 20-17 road loss to eventual Super Bowl 56 champion the Los Angeles Rams:
“But really, I think the moment for me, after we lost the NFC Championship game, Kyle (Shanahan) asked me to address the team and that’s when the clarity really came to me. I wasn’t gonna address it until after the season. But I looked at myself and I said ‘How do I sit up here and address these guys and talk about having the fortitude to fight through the pain of losing a game like this and then turn around and bolt them?’ I couldn’t do it.”
At that moment, Lynch realized where he would be at his most happiest. It wasn’t inside a broadcast booth. It would be inside the 49ers’ front office.
“I knew right then what I was going to do. And I’m happy to be a part of the 49ers,” Lynch said.
Lynch Called 49ers Legend ‘Jimmy G of That Era’
Lynch was in a room with legends from 49ers’ lore at the third annual event which is a fundraiser in support of the Golden Heart Fund.
Per The Athletic, Hall of Famers Steve Young, Terrell Owens, Charles Haley and Lynch were among this year’s attendees along with 49ers superfan and multi-platinum rapper E-40. But along with honoring the legacy of Clark, the 49ers also honored the newest Hall of Famer: Defensive tackle Bryant Young.
Lynch also spent time recognizing the icon who has the event in his namesake Clark. The GM, though, gave Clark this telling comparison: He called the legendary wide receiver a Jimmy Garoppolo. But he explained why.
“I think he was kind of the Jimmy G of that era in terms of being a good-looking guy. Everybody admired him for that,” Lynch said.
But Lynch didn’t just view Clark, who died from ALS at 61 on June 4, 2018, as a Jimmy G. He recognized Clark’s ability in interacting with the teammates he won Super Bowls with.
“But then he was also just such a good person that cared for his teammates, related with everybody and that just shone through right to the end,” Lynch said.