This was a big week for John Lynch.
The San Francisco 49ers’ general manager was preparing an offer to keep his undefeated young quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, in the fold for the foreseeable future. But, in the midst of that, he learned he had become a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the fifth time. Lynch shared his thoughts on both regards this week with the Talk of Fame Network.
“Do I feel I belong?’’ the former Pro Bowl safety said of his selection. “I do. But that’s not for me to decide. I’m proud of the career I had and the impact I left on the game. What I’ve tried to do with this process is enjoy it and be humbled by it.’’
Lynch has reached the final 10 the last two years but has yet to make it over that final hump to Canton. He’s hoping he can do that, while at the same time get over the hump with Garopppolo, the quarterback he acquired from the Patriots at midseason and saw lead the 49ers to five wins in his first five starts to close out the season.
“Things broke our way,’’ Lynch said of the swap for a second-round pick he made at the trade deadline. “He makes others better. Jimmy has shown he can lift a team.
“Now we have to go to work to keep him a 49er for a long time. We really believe we have a franchise quarterback. We really do. He made us better. He can lift an organization.’’
Fifteen players who did that during their own NFL careers were named Hall-of-Fame finalists this week and Talk of Fame Network co-hosts, Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge, will be among the 48 voters who decide next month who gets a bust in Canton and who has to wait another year to wear the gold jacket. Our Hall-of-Famer voters debate the pros and cons of this year’s class and explain why having five offensive linemen as finalists may work against them all.
Will this finally be the year Terrell Owens enters the Hall, or will Randy Moss or Isaac Bruce beat him out? Did the return as a finalist of Edgerrin James a year after failing to make the final cut last year signal this may be his time?
What of the field of four defensive backs? Does the presence of Lynch and Brian Dawkins mean the safety position is finally getting more respect after the induction of senior candidate Kenny Easley last year?
And what are the chances Everson Walls will make it to induction in his first year as a finalist while remarkably in his last year of eligibility?
To hear it all you can tune in on SB Nation Radio Network, download the free podcast on iTunes or the TuneIn app or simply go to the show’s website, talkoffamenetwork.com and click on the helmet icon to hear John Lynch and a whole lot more.