TAMPA — John Lynch has the San Francisco 49ers one win from representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIV in Miami in only his third year as general manager, an accomplishment that resulted in him being named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writer’s Association.
Lynch, who is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame after nine Pro Bowl seasons as a safety with the Bucs and Broncos, rebuilt the five-time Super Bowl champions into the top seed in the conference with some shrewd moves. Those include acquiring defensive lineman Dee Ford, signing former Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander and drafting Nick Bosa.
Since the league went to a 12-team format in 1990, the Niners are only the third team to go from four or fewer wins to a conference No. 1 seed the next season.
The 49ers took a big step back in 2018, going 4-12 after losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL.
But that setback had the 49ers picking second overall in the NFL draft, where they selected Bosa, who was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writer’s Association.
The 49ers host the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.