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Niners Pass On George Paton For John Lynch

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The stunner by the bay means that Paton is still employed by the Vikings.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands right now, George Paton is still Rick Spielman’s right-hand man with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s had interviews with a couple of different teams this offseason, but one of them made some huge news with their hire on Sunday.

The San Francisco 49ers, who reportedly wanted a second interview with Paton, passed on him to hire long-time NFL safety and current FOX NFL broadcaster John Lynch as their General Manager. The Niners announced that they were signing Lynch to a six-year deal, which seems like a pretty hefty commitment to someone that, as of right now, has as much NFL front office experience as you or I have.

Lynch played in the NFL for fifteen seasons, spending the first eleven with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before playing the last four for the Denver Broncos. He’s been an announcer for FOX since 2008.

The Niners will reportedly be hiring Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to be their next head coach, though they can’t formally announce that until after the Super Bowl next week. The Niners are reportedly giving him a six-year contract as well, so they’re making big-time commitments to a first-time GM and a first-time head coach.

With the Niners hiring Lynch and the Indianapolis Colts hiring Chris Ballard to fill their GM vacancy, it appears as though there’s no longer any risk of the Vikings losing Paton to another team. Hopefully the Vikings will do well enough in 2017 for his name to at least be linked to GM searches again in 2018.