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49ers GM John Lynch Addresses ‘Pay Mistake’ That Cost Team Picks: ‘We Overpaid a Player’

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Earlier this month, the NFL announced that the San Francisco 49ers would lose one of their 2025 draft picks. Meanwhile, the team’s 2024 fourth-round pick will move from No. 131 to No. 135. Punishment comes from some administrative payroll accounting errorsthe league announced.

The 49ers took responsibility for the “payroll error” and accepted the league’s punishment. “We assume our responsibilities and accept the discipline imposed by the NFL due to a payroll error. At no time did we mislead or deceive the League or gain a competitive advantage in connection with the payroll error.” , the Niners said in a statement.

During this week’s league meetings in Florida, 49ers general manager John Lynch was asked about the circumstances surrounding the demoted or revoked selection. The former Pro Bowl defensive back suggested the mistakes were the result of the team overcompensating for one of its players.

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October 16, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, United States; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

“We overpaid a player…by $75,000,” Lynch told reporters. “…It was the time of COVID, and a new system was in place. And that’s what happened. We own our part. We did a whole mitigation deal to address some of the problems that happened. But the league decided to impose it, so you take your medicine and you move on.”

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Lynch did not name the specific player he was referring to. He also shared his admiration for the league and commissioner Roger Goodell, but made it clear there was a “difference of opinion on the seriousness” of the transgression.

The NFL previously released a statement emphasizing that the franchise would have “remained under salary at all times, regardless of the error.”

49ers helmet

General view of the San Francisco 49ers helmets before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 21, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

“This action follows a league review that found administrative salary accounting errors at the end of the 2022 league year, which resulted in misreporting of the club’s cumulative player compensation. NFL “determined that the club would have remained under the salary cap at all times regardless of the error and there was no intention to circumvent the cap,” the NFL statement said.

Despite the punishment, Lynch joked that the fifth round produced “pretty good” results. San Francisco’s star tight end George Kittlewas among the franchise’s notable fifth-round selections.

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Lynch explained that the team’s main problem resulted from its efforts to recover money from the unarmed player, instead of immediately reporting the overpayment to the league.

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