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49ers hire former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive

The former Lions manager will be working under another rookie GM.

Detroit Lions Introduce Jim Caldwell Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Martin Mayhew got his start in the NFL back in 2001 with the Detroit Lions. After spending the year previous trying to make the XFL into a legitimate football league, he joined the Lions front office as the Senior Vice President of Football Administration/Legal Affairs. A few years later a brand new General Manager named Matt Millen promoted him to senior Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.

Thirteen years later, Mayhew will again be working under another announcer-turned-rookie-gm:

About a week ago, the San Francisco 49ers hired John Lynch as their new general manager, a move that drew a lot of comparisons to when the Lions hired Matt Millen back in 2001. Now the 49ers have added the experienced Mayhew to join him in personnel decisions, along with new head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was hired earlier in the week.

Mayhew drew a lot of ire from the get-go in Detroit, simply for being tied to the Millen era. While he was pretty efficient with his first-round picks—and his trading of Roy Williams will remain one of the best roster moves in Lions history—Mayhew ended up making many misses in the second and third days of the NFL draft and was eventually let go in the middle of the 2015 season.

Mayhew quickly found a job the next year as a director of football operations/special projects with the New York Giants.

Now Mayhew will try to give insight to a team in disarray. The 49ers are coming off of a 2-14 season, and with an entirely new staff Mayhew’s experience could actually be quite valuable, given that he quickly dug the Lions out of the 0-16 crater of 2008. Still, it’s hard not to find the humor of San Francisco following in the Lions’ ominous footsteps.

We wish Mayhew the best of luck in his newest endeavor.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.