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What 49ers GM Lynch learned from difficult Foster situation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
John Lynch assumed a much different role in an NFL organization when he took over as the 49ers' general manager in 2017, after a Hall of Fame career as a player and a number of years as a color commentator.
The 49-year-old has the respect of people around the league given his tremendous success as a player, and can relate to much of what the 49ers' roster is going through on a daily basis.
Lynch joined the "NFL Total Access: The Locker Room" podcast this week, and explained the difficult lesson he learned with the complicated situation that came with drafting talented linebacker Reuben Foster in 2017.
"I don't say that anything is a mistake, but I had so much belief in Reuben Foster and my ability to get to him," Lynch told Michael Robinson and Bucky Brooks (h/t 49ers Web Zone). "'OK, if he's got some issues, I can help this young man out. I can be the one. I'm not playing anymore. I'm in the GM seat. I can put resources around him,' and all those things, but I think, probably, I've learned some tough lessons that that'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."
"... Reuben's a fine young man, went through some tough things. I don't mean to put him out there like that, but that's an instance where I probably, my experience, feeling like, 'You know what? I can get to him.' Sometimes you can't. Or you can't make a situation better because of the dynamics involved."
Foster was Lynch's second-ever draft pick as a general manager, selecting him No. 31 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Less than a year into his tenure with the organization, Foster was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.
The linebacker's accuser ended up recanting her statements, but after a second domestic violence arrest in November of 2018, the 49ers released Foster. He never was convicted in either case, but nevertheless hasn't appeared in an NFL game since 2018.