San Francisco 49ers Offseason Workout
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Plus, other quotes from Lynch from his press conference at the NFL Combine

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke at the NFL Combine Tuesday afternoon and called the salary cap going up a “welcomed sight,” but acknowledged this move didn’t just help the Niners:

“I think you have to understand; it went up for everyone. So, it’s not like unique to our team. We have some challenges. We have a lot of good players. A lot of good players who we’ve rewarded. Brandon’s [Aiyuk] one who we think incredibly highly of.

One of my favorite guys around our building. The way he approaches the game. He’s a competitor. He’s a warrior. Also, with a grace with some of the positions his body can get into.

And then he’s got a flare for making plays when they matter most. He’s served us very well as a franchise. We’ve got a nice track record of extending the players that are important to us. Brandon’s a guy we wanna keep around for a long time.”

Lynch covered all of his bases and did as much as he could at the moment to quell any talk about the notion that Aiyuk won’t be on the 49ers moving forward.

That was essentially the gist of his appearance. Here’s the rest of his comments.

Lynch spoke about the 49ers’ 11 picks in the NFL Draft his year: “We really try to focus on making them all count. We pride ourselves as putting as much into the late rounds as we do in the early ones.”

He also called Jim Harbaugh a “character” and added, “I think he’s awesome for football, and I’m glad he’s back in our league.”

Lynch said he was proud of rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown: “I was real proud of Ji’Ayir. He made a tremendous impression, not only on the tape. His interview was one that grabbed us. Ji’Ayir’s a special young man, and then he went and showed that. That guy’s a stud, and we’re fortunate to have him.”

As expected, Lynch wasn’t going to tip his hand at who the Niners were looking at in the upcoming NFL Draft. He has yet to draft an interior offensive lineman in the first round. When asked if that’ll change in 2024, Lynch said, “Tune in and watch.”

As for the potential defensive coordinator, whether it’s an in-house hire or somebody outside of the building, Lynch said there won’t be any major changes regarding philosophy.

The team has yet to appoint a replacement for Adam Peters, but Tariq Ahmad and RJ Gillen will have larger roles in this upcoming draft. They both now share the same title of Director of Player Personnel, per Lynch. Gillen’s title doesn’t change, while Ahmad was the Director of College scouting.

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