Sport Jimmy G highs and Reuben Foster lows: The new life of 49ers GM John Lynch

03:10  15 february  2018
03:10  15 february  2018 Source:   Sporting News

49ers sign Jimmy Garoppolo to record five-year, $137.5 million contract

  49ers sign Jimmy Garoppolo to record five-year, $137.5 million contract The deal is the biggest in NFL history on an average annual value basis and makes Garoppolo the highest paid player in the league.The 49ers on Thursday signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a record five-year contract worth $137.5 million to make him the highest paid player in the league, NFL Network reported.

49 ers GM John Lynch is learning a lesson: The good times for an NFL exec, like the Jimmy Garoppolo signing, come with the bad times, like Reuben Foster 's legal issues.

49 ers GM John Lynch is learning a lesson: The good times for an NFL exec, like the Jimmy Garoppolo signing, come with the bad times, like Reuben Foster 's legal issues.

So, John Lynch ... are you sure it was a wise move to leave the cushy broadcast booth and ride the roller coaster that is the everyday life of an NFL general manager?

A week like this has to make the 49ers GM wonder.

Lynch had to be feeling great late last week when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-year contract. Then came the phone call Sunday morning that all GMs dread — I know from experience. One of Lynch's rising stars, Reuben Foster, was arrested on charges of domestic violence, making threats and possessing an assault weapon.

MORE: Details of Reuben Foster's arrest

Lynch already knows about the ups and downs of GM life based on what he experienced over the past year since joining the 49ers, particularly with the team staggering to an 0-9 start before surging to a 5-0 finish. The key ingredient down the stretch, of course, was Garoppolo, a midseason trade acquisition.

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Via Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, 49 ers G .M. John Lynch told reporters that, when he 23 responses to “ 49 ers kept Saints from getting Reuben Foster ”. factschecker says This is a football guy and in spite of not having any GM experience, he’s done a great job so far.

Tags: C.J. Beathard, Jimmy Garoppolo, John Lynch , Matt Maiocco, NFL, San Francisco 49 ers . 49 ers Mailbag: What's next for Reuben Foster after arrest? Part of Norton's job will be to provide Foster with another positive influences in his life . Frank Gore.

The money attached to Garoppolo’s new contract is record-breaking: $137.5 million, the largest deal in NFL history on an average-per-year basis. Some observers questioned whether a player with so few starts to his name was worthy of such a huge deal, but Lynch got a structure conducive to the 49ers’ salary cap situation — front-loaded with a $37 million cap number this year when the 49ers have more than $100 million in cap room.

Lynch was happy not to have to franchise tag Garoppolo, which would have kept the QB's contract situation hanging over the team throughout 2018. With the former Patriots backup having won all seven of his NFL starts and Lynch being saluted for pulling off a steal in the trade, there was no other choice but to pay the piper.

Jimmy Garoppolo ready to win (more) in San Francisco

  Jimmy Garoppolo ready to win (more) in San Francisco Garoppolo held a press conference Friday after signing a long-term deal with the 49ers.Details on Jimmy Garoppolo deal: pic.twitter.

The 49 ers GM addressed reports about the status of Reuben Foster ’s shoulder. New , 225 comments. On Friday, GM John Lynch made an appearance on ESPN’s Mike & Mike program to discuss the draft.

New , 18 comments. It’s how they came to the decision to draft Reuben Foster in the first round. Transcript of Jimmy Garoppolo, John Lynch , Kyle Shanahan press conference. The 49 ers are gambling with Jimmy Garoppolo, but it makes sense.

Lynch and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan were all smiles at the press conference to announce the Garoppolo signing. Life was good in 49erland.

Then the Foster bust occurred. It was the linebacker's second arrest in a month; he was arrested on a marijuana possession charge in Alabama in January.

a man wearing a suit and tie: John Lynch © (Getty Images) John Lynch

Foster was a controversial player going into the 2017 NFL Draft. He was considered a top-10 talent but fell to Lynch and the 49ers at No. 31 overall due to character and injury concerns. Lynch put more pressure on himself with his post-draft comments, saying he was not concerned about Foster's character and that the 49ers "were exhaustive in getting to know him."

After the draft, the 49ers kept their rookie linebacker focused on football. Foster stayed out of trouble and played well when physically able. He had 72 tackles and made the All-Rookie team, but he missed six games due to a high ankle sprain and a rib injury. Shoulder issues caused him to miss plays in other games.

49ers LB Reuben Foster reportedly arrested on domestic violence, assault rifle allegations

  49ers LB Reuben Foster reportedly arrested on domestic violence, assault rifle allegations Foster was selected 31st overall by the 49ers in the 2017 NFL Draft.The report stated that Foster, 23, was arrested in Los Gatos, Calif. and is currently being held on $75,000 bail. Details of Foster's arrest have yet to be released but The Mercury News says Foster was also booked on suspicion of possessing an assault rifle.

New , 27 comments. The San Francisco 49 ers appear to not be concerned about Reuben Foster ’s recent shoulder sprain. Transcript of Jimmy Garoppolo, John Lynch , Kyle Shanahan press conference.

New , 61 comments. The 49 ers GM is confident in how Foster ’s rehab process is going. Transcript of Jimmy Garoppolo, John Lynch , Kyle Shanahan press conference. The 49 ers are gambling with Jimmy Garoppolo, but it makes sense.

As is the case too often once the season ends and players are out of the team facility, trouble hits with young players such as Foster who have that proclivity.


49ers happily trade back in Round 1

A GM has to hold his breath and try to provide the player with offseason guidance and support. He can't babysit the player 24/7. The Cowboys tried that with Dez Bryant, and perhaps the 49ers will take a similar approach with Foster, but it’s not something I would recommend. The expectation should be for players to act like mature professionals, or the team will find someone who will.

In this case, time will tell, but it appears Lynch had hoped for the best and may have gotten the worst.

It's easy to second-guess the decision Lynch made to draft Foster in the first round given the red flags, including a diluted sample for marijuana at the Combine, where he had a well-reported argument with a hospital worker, plus pre-draft shoulder surgery. But just as Lynch has taken a calculated risk in making Garoppolo the NFL's highest-paid player, he did the same when he selected Foster.

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New coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are both expected to receive long six-year contracts, according to a report from USA TODAY Sports. You make the call: How 49 ers are easing Reuben Foster back into fold.

Reuben Foster showed game-changing talent as a rookie for the 49 ers . But 49 ers general manager John Lynch acknowledges Foster will only be able to take his game to the next level if he avoids pitfalls off the field.

GMs take risks to some extent with every move they make. It can't always be a slam dunk like the terms of the Garoppolo trade; the quality of the player and person Lynch acquired in that case, at least as of this juncture.

I tried to steer away from questionable players during my days as an NFL exec. But with a roster of 70 or so players including active, injured reserve and practice squad, there are bound to be some challenges.

Foster is just that for Lynch and the 49ers, who have taken a hard stand against domestic violence since the Ray McDonald issues a few years ago.

When a team invests a first-round pick in a player, it represents millions of dollars of the club’s scouting budget spent to identify such a player. Then the contract itself is a major financial undertaking. It's easy to cut a seventh-round pick who gets jammed up, but it takes guts for a team to dump a first-round starter due to off-field misconduct.

Lynch and the 49ers want to determine — with the help of the courts and the NFL — whether Foster is guilty of the domestic violence charge. If so, they then must decide whether to cut him under a no tolerance policy or give him a second chance to get his act together.


Breaking down 49ers' team needs

If I'm Lynch, even if Foster is not convicted in this case, I'm looking to release him and find a replacement in free agency or the draft. There's too much smoke here for there not to be fire regarding the domestic violence charge and assault weapon situation. Not to mention the injury concerns.

Cutting Foster would be a low moment on that roller-coaster life Lynch is now living, but he'll hope his new franchise quarterback can get the 49ers back to Super Bowl-contender status once the 2018 season begins.

Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL.

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