John Lynch applauds Emmanuel Sanders on retirement, 49ers' Super Bowl run

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49ers' Lynch applauds 'tenacious' Sanders on retirement originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers continue to appreciate wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders' short tenure in the Bay.

On Wednesday, Sanders officially announced his retirement from the NFL, hanging up the cleats after 12 seasons, 172 career games, 704 receptions and 9,245 receiving yards.

Although Sanders retired in a Denver Broncos uniform, San Francisco general manager John Lynch gave a shoutout to the former 49ers receiver on Twitter shortly after the news was announced.

He even gave Sanders credit for the 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV.

Sanders arrived in San Francisco in the middle of the 2019 NFL season when the 49ers traded third- and fourth-round picks to the Broncos for Sanders and a fifth-rounder.

He immediately emerged as a leader in the 49ers' locker room and hauled in 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns over 10 regular-season games.

Sanders played in all three of San Francisco's postseason games that year, catching five passes for 71 yards.

Sanders notched three receptions for 38 yards in the 49ers' 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. His time with San Francisco might best be remembered by a deep ball that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew in the closing minutes of the Super Bowl that could have been a touchdown and given the 49ers a late lead.

Sanders' presence is still felt in the 49ers' locker room to this day. He was a mentor for Deebo Samuel, who was a rookie in 2019.

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“Deebo is one of the guys who we were counting on a lot as a rookie,” coach Kyle Shanahan said last November. “I think when Emmanuel got here, he really saw a true pro and not just how he prepared, but how he attacked practice every day.

“And Emmanuel only knew one way, like he went as hard as he could all the time and if he couldn’t, you had to protect him from himself. And I think it was really cool for Deebo to get to see. I think that’s why they clicked so much.”

Sanders will forever have the respect and admiration of the 49ers Faithful.

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