And away we go with another edition of the Jed York Follies!
The hiring of Kyle Shanahan as the new Head Coach won’t be booed in too many gin joints in all the towns in all the world. But, pulling John Lynch out of the broadcast booth to be the team’s new GM is one big WTF!
Both new hires are getting six year contracts, which seems mainly to stress how confident York wants everyone to think he is about his choices. He’d better be right, too, because six years from now all those PSLs are due for renewal … or the trash bin. If the 49ers aren’t back in the big leagues by then, the Yorks will finally get hit in their precious pocketbooks.
Both Shanahan and Lynch come into situations where it’s hard to be worse than the guys they replace. Which is a great situation for a couple of newbies to find out if they can cut the mustard. If not, they’ll at least have some serious financial security.
Chip Kelly came here after failing in Philly and then making 49er history with a 13 game losing streak. Shanahan is the OC of a Super Bowl team. Lynch will replace Trent Baalke, who was a six year disaster area. He also ducked the press like a man afraid of the light. Lynch may not turn out to be a good GM, but at least he’ll show up to answer questions. He can also throw darts at the draft board and probably do as well or better than Baalke.
Apparently, Lynch was Shanahan’s choice to be his GM. Maybe that was because he thought Lynch would do the best job, or maybe it was because he thought Lynch would be the weakest guy to have above him.
At the least, York has bought himself three years respite from an angry fan base and the year end humble pie he’s been eating for the past four years. With the franchise at ground zero, three years is the minimum needed to turn things around. By then, York will have finished paying off Kelly and Jim Tomsula, putting him in position to poison the well yet again, either because these hirings went bad or because they went too good and not enough credit is going to York.
It’s going to take some serious winning to restore the fan loyalty York has squandered. And for some, that loyalty will never return so long as York is the owner. The best thing for the Niners would be if York receded so far into the background we all have a chance to forget he’s even there. And the chances of that happening are slim and none.