Paxton Lynch and John Lynch are both well-known names in the NFL, but are they related? The short answer is no, they are not. Paxton Lynch is a former first-round pick who played for the Denver Broncos, while John Lynch is a Hall of Fame safety who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the San Francisco 49ers. Here is the full story behind these two quarterbacks and their careers.
Paxton Lynch: A Promising Prospect Who Fizzled Out
Paxton Lynch was born on February 12, 1994, in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up in a sports-loving family, with his father David playing basketball at Texas Wesleyan and his older brother Evin playing baseball at Stetson. Paxton was a two-sport star in basketball and football at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona, Florida, where he threw for 2,099 yards as a senior. He was rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and committed to play college football at Memphis.
At Memphis, Lynch redshirted his freshman year and then became the starting quarterback for the next three seasons. He improved his stats each year, culminating in a stellar junior season in 2015, when he completed 66.8% of his passes for 3,778 yards, 28 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also tied an FBS record with seven passing touchdowns in a half against SMU. He decided to forgo his senior year and enter the 2016 NFL Draft, where he was projected as a potential first-round pick.
The Denver Broncos traded up to select Lynch with the 26th overall pick, hoping he would be their franchise quarterback after Peyton Manning retired. However, Lynch struggled to adapt to the NFL level and never secured the starting job. He made only four starts in two seasons, completing 61.7% of his passes for 792 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also dealt with injuries and inconsistency and was eventually released by the Broncos before the 2018 season.
Lynch bounced around the league as a backup or practice squad member for the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers, but never saw any regular-season action again. He also tried his luck in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and in the XFL with the Michigan Panthers and Orlando Guardians, but did not make much of an impact. He is currently playing for the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL.
John Lynch: A Legendary Safety Who Became a GM
John Lynch was born on September 25, 1971, in Hinsdale, Illinois. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school, excelling in baseball, basketball, and football. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the second round of the 1992 MLB Draft as a pitcher, but chose to play college football at Stanford instead.
At Stanford, Lynch played both safety and quarterback, but eventually focused on defense. He was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection and earned All-American honors as a senior. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft.
Lynch spent 11 seasons with the Buccaneers, becoming one of the best safeties in the league and a key member of their dominant defense that won Super Bowl XXXVII. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro, and a two-time NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year. He also played four seasons with the Denver Broncos before retiring after the 2007 season.
Lynch was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021 after being a finalist for eight years. He is also the current general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, a role he has held since 2017. He has helped build a competitive roster that reached Super Bowl LIV.
Paxton Lynch and John Lynch are not related by blood or by marriage. They are both quarterbacks who played in the NFL, but their careers could not be more different. Paxton Lynch was a highly-touted prospect who failed to live up to his potential and faded out of the league after two seasons. John Lynch was a versatile athlete who became one of the greatest safeties of all time and a successful executive.