One of the big questions during the San Francisco 49ers GM/HC search process has been who would have roster control. After numerous reports, John Lynch confirmed on Thursday that he would have control of the 90-man roster and things like trades, drafting and free agency, while Kyle Shanahan would have control of the 53-man roster. He said they would hold some measure of veto power over each other, but did not offer specifics on that process.
Several current and former 49ers players were on hand for the press conference, and safety Eric Reid was among them. He briefly chatted with the media, and said he was happy that Shanahan would have control over roster cuts.
Eric Reid says he’s happy that the person that’s out watching him every day, the head coach, will be in control of the 53 (and his life)— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) February 9, 2017
John Lynch has control over trades and contracts, so it’s not like Reid’s head coach has complete control over Reid’s future. But, the point still stands. A GM can observe numerous practices and speak with the players, but given the other duties a GM has to deal with, it is impossible for him to work with current players on the same level as the head coach. That is critical for getting the right players in place for the season.
During the press conference, Shanahan was asked why he did not ask for full roster control given the leverage he held. Shanahan responded that he did not want full control, and preferred having a partnership. He said what labels each person has does not matter so long as you are working with the right person.