How did San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch get in contact with Richard Sherman just minutes after the Seattle Seahawks released him? He had his phone number. NFL teams have access to all players phone numbers in the general database but Lynch had it in his personal phone from when they had previously met. It doesn’t just go back to production meetings from Lynch’s days as a broadcaster. It goes back even further to when Sherman was at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.
Both Lynch and Sherman attended Stanford University but obviously at different times. They did not have a class together like Lynch did with Solomon Thomas, rather their friendship started on the field when Lynch was an honorary captain for the Cardinal at Harbaugh’s request — which he did twice. Lynch has been an honorary captain for David Shaw as well.
Their history is extensive and Lynch saw the potential in Sherman even when he made the switch from being a wide receiver to a defensive back.
It’s something that we’ve talked about over the years. I’ve had him in a lot of production meetings, way back to when Harbaugh had me the honorary captain on a couple of occasions and Richard and I hit it off then. So it’s a connection that people -- everyone’s got their connections, whatever school you went to in the league and that one runs deep and so it is a connection that Richard and I have and I guess it’s the reason why I knew him in the first place. I guess I would have come to know him as a great player in the league but met him way back in his college days and formed a relationship from that.
Lynch remembers Sherman’s transition to defense, his unique size and him always being brash and loud. He believes Seattle did a great job “uncovering the hidden gem there.” He also adds that what he has become is very special.
Lynch’s son has now committed to Stanford, making it a family tradition.