Before John Lynch became the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, he had a 15-season career as an NFL safety that took him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In Lynch’s third season as general manager of San Francisco, the 49ers reached the Super Bowl to cap the 2019 campaign.

Lynch thinks his experience as a football player has given him some insight into his work as a football manager, but sometimes he has to remember that he is an executive and not a player anymore.

“Sometimes I think it can be extremely helpful,” Lynch said Michael Robinson and Bucky Brooks asked about the impact of his playing career on his current job during an appearance on the “NFL Total Access: The Locker Room” podcast released Friday. “Sometimes it’s probably a hindrance because you’re so doomed because these are the guys, the personalities that you’ve played with.

“I’m thinking of an example – and I’m not saying anything was wrong, but I believed so much in Reuben Foster and in my ability to achieve it. “OK, if he’s in trouble, I can help this young man.” I can be the only one. I do not play anymore. I’m in GM headquarters. I can put resources around it and all of that stuff. But I think, probably, I’ve learned some hard lessons that it’s going to be hard to have that kind of influence and have that kind of connection because I’m not his teammate anymore. I’m actually in a different role.

“And Reuben is a handsome young man. I have been through difficult things. I don’t want to say it on that. But that’s an example where I probably feel, from my experience, like, ‘You know what? I can reach it ”- sometimes you can’t. Or you can’t improve a situation because of the dynamics involved.

“But I think it’s very useful. I mean, you lived it. You know what it’s like to be a player and the challenges that come with it. And you better have a really tough person mentally because the NFL is tough. There is nothing easy about it. That’s what makes him so great, in my mind.

Foster played 16 games for the 49ers after being selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Foster was the Class 6A lineman of the year and a Parade and Under Armor All-American at Auburn High School in 2012. In Alabama, Foster started for the CFP National Championship team in 2015 and earned the Unanimous All-American recognition and the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2016.

Considered a possible top 10, Foster entered the 2017 NFL Draft with a few red flags, including, within three months of his last game in Alabama, shoulder surgery, an explosion at medical checks who sent him home from NFL screening. Combine and a failed combine drug test due to a diluted sample.

When Foster fell in the draft, Lynch traded San Francisco’s second and fourth round picks to climb to linebacker with the 31st selection.

Injuries have caused Foster to miss six of San Francisco’s first eight games in his rookie season. But in the second half of the season, Foster was on the pitch in every game, and San Francisco, who started 0-8, went 6-2. Despite his lost time, Foster finished second on the team in tackles and was part of Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie squad in 2017.

In the first two months of Foster’s first offseason in the NFL, he was arrested twice, leading the league to suspend Foster for the first two games of the 2018 season for violating NFL policies. in matters of drug addiction and personal conduct.

On January 12, 2018, Foster was arrested in Tuscaloosa and charged with second degree possession of marijuana. The marijuana charge was dismissed after Foster participated in a pre-trial diversion program.

On February 11, 2018, Foster was arrested and charged with the felony of domestic violence, attempting to forcefully stop a victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon in Los Gatos, California.

On May 23, 2018, a judge dismissed the first two of these charges. Foster did not dispute the illegal possession of an assault weapon on June 6, 2018 and was fined and community service as punishment.

Foster returned to the starting lineup from San Francisco after serving his suspension in 2018. After six starts, Foster missed two games with a shoulder injury, but he accompanied the 49ers to Florida for their game. of November 25, 2018 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The night before the game, Tampa police arrested Foster at the team hotel. Elissa Ennis, who was involved in Foster’s arrest in February, told police Foster dropped her phone from her hand, pushed her in the chest and slapped her in the face.

The day before Foster’s scheduled indictment on one count of first degree domestic violence on January 3, 2019, the state attorney’s office dismissed the charge and filed a notice of termination.

At that point, Foster was no longer with the 49ers.

Three days after Foster’s arrest in Tampa, Washington got the linebacker as a waiver request when the 49ers released Foster.

Foster spent the last five games of the 2018 season unable to play after being placed on the commissioner’s exoneration list while the NFL investigated the Tampa incident. The league restored Foster to Washington’s active roster on April 12, 2019.

On day one of Washington’s 11-on-11 non-contact exercises during his offseason program five weeks later, Foster tore the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee.

Foster spent the 2019 season in the injured reserve and returned to training on August 9, 2020. But when Washington cut its roster from 80 players at training camp to the regular season limit of 53 under one. months later, Foster returned to the injured reserve. for another one-season stay.

On March 17, Foster became an unrestricted free agent when the four-year, $ 9,035 million contract he signed after being drafted by the 49ers ended. Foster has not been signed for the 2021 season.

Foster most recently played in an NFL game on October 28, 2018.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @ AMarkG1.


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