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NFL Notes: 49ers, Colts, Cowboys, Raiders, Saints

49ers

49ers CEO Jed York released a statement Monday regarding the decision to hire John Lynch as their next general manager.

“During his 15 seasons as an NFL player, John epitomized what is so special about the game of football,” York said, via CSN Bay Area. “A world-class competitor, his love and respect for the sport are unmatched, and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in league circles who does not have great respect for his work ethic and passion. Having already helped lead a team to a Super Bowl title as a player, John is equipped with tremendous insight into what it takes to create a culture that breeds sustained success.

“Having spent the last eight seasons as an analyst with FOX, he has honed his skills as a talented communicator while also developing valuable relationships around the league and a vast knowledge of the NFL that will be beneficial to our team. As we learned more and more about John, it became apparent that he was not only one of the best to ever play this game but also a Hall of Fame caliber man, one who people are compelled to follow.

Colts

  • Colts owner Jim Irsay offered some high praise for new GM Chris Ballard on Monday: “I really feel Chris (Ballard) is the best candidate for general manager that has come about in the 21st century. His energy, his experience, his vision. I know that he’s going to get with coach Pagano and the Colts are a much better football team today.” (Mike Wells)
  • Irsay announced that Ballard signed a five-year contract with the team. (Mike Chappell)
  • Ballard made it clear that Chuck Pagano will return as the team’s head coach in 2017: “There were no other options. Chuck Pagano is a good football coach in the National Football League. We need to keep our eye on how hard it is to win in this league and he’s won 49 games in this league.”
  • Ballard said of the prospect of building a team around QB Andrew Luck: “Andrew is a great player, but it will never be about one guy. It’s about all 53 guys.” (Mike Wells)

Cowboys

  • Todd Archer mentions that Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith continues to wear a brace on his foot to help him lift it, but he has been running and cutting without issues.
  • According to Archer, there’s a “good chance’ that both Kellen Moore and Mark Sanchez could be back with the Cowboys next year.

Raiders

  • According to Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area, it’s anticipated that the Raiders will sign HC Jack Del Rio to a contract at some point.
  • Bair mentions that even though Del Rio still has two years left on his four-year contract, he’s one of the lowest-paid head coaches in the NFL.

Saints

  • Saints owner Tom Benson is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 6 over his estranged family’s financial stake in the franchise.
  • Katherine Sayre of NOLA.com writes that the trustees overseeing his heirs’ trust could still agree to settle the case out of court before the scheduled hearing.

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