The San Francisco 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts were the only NFL teams without general managers before Sunday, when both announced who will helm their franchises for the foreseeable future. The 49ers pulled off a shocker, naming Hall of Fame candidate and current FOX analyst John Lynch to the position, while the Colts hired former Kansas City Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard to replace Ryan Grigson.

Lynch, the former All-Pro safety who will learn this week if he will finally be heading to Canton, has no front office experience, leading ESPN’s Adam Schefter, FOX’s Jay Glazer, and CBS’ Jason La Conforta to conclude that this is a prelude to Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan being named 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and Shanahan being given the keys to run the franchise the way he sees fit. Schefter reported that Lynch will receive a six-year contract, which is almost unheard of for a first-time general manager, or any general manager. Schefter also states, “The idea to hire Lynch was his own. He personally called Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan about a week ago, and volunteered for the job.”

Lynch, who attended Stanford, played safety for the Buccaneers from 1993-03 — winning a Super Bowl with the team — and the Broncos from 2004-07. An interesting twist here is that he was actually coached by Mike Shanahan (Kyle’s dad) in Denver. Regardless of who will truly run the franchise, as the named general manager, Lynch’s first front office job will be to fix a franchise that’s gone 7-25 in the past two seasons and fired coaches in consecutive offseasons. Their roster is almost entirely devoid of talent — including at quarterback. The 49ers do, however, own the second overall pick in this year’s draft. So, they’ll have a chance to find a potential star this offseason.

As for the Colts, they give their GM position to Ballard, who joined KC as director of player personnel in 2013, along with Andy Reid as head coach and John Dorsey as GM. Since their arrival, the Chiefs have become a balanced team that won at least nine games in each of the last four seasons, and have impact players found in the draft during all three of their tries. Linebacker Dee Ford, cornerback Marcus Peters (both first round picks), and wide receiver Tyreek Hill were all taken by the front office trio, and all three were major contributors on the team that became the number two seed in the AFC this past season.

Ballard will take over a team that has one of the top young quarterbacks in the game in Andrew Luck, solid weapons for him in TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief, but is devoid of talent in basically all the other facets. They drafted four offensive linemen last year, but still need help there, in addition to having a defense that finished 30th overall and tied for 19th in sacks with just 33 last season. The Colts expect to have more than $50 million in salary-cap space during free agency, and are coming off back-to-back seasons in which they missed the playoffs with 8-8 records.

Ballard will go into this season with head coach Chuck Pagano returning, after owner Jim Irsay declared his job safe after Grigson was fired last weekend. “I am extremely excited about Chris coming in as our general manager,” Pagano said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and a ton of experience to the organization. I’m looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and going to work alongside him.” Ballard beat Jimmy Raye III of the Colts, Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner of Seattle, George Paton of Minnesota and Eliot Wolf of Green Bay for the job.

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