The San Francisco 49ers announced on Thursday that the team has named Martin Mayhew senior personnel executive.
“My relationship with Martin spans more than two decades, and in that time I have developed a tremendous amount of respect for him both personally and professionally,” said 49ers General Manager John Lynch. “Not only do we gain a tremendous talent evaluator, but also a highly experienced front office executive. Martin has sat in the seat as a general manager and his experience will play an integral role in helping us locate the type of football player we want representing this organization both on the field and in the community. I am excited to have him as a teammate once again.”
Prior to his time in New York, Mayhew spent 15 years (2001-15) in the Detroit Lions organization, including the final seven as the team’s general manager. As general manager, he was responsible for the draft selections of Pro Bowlers QB Matthew Stafford and DE Ezekiel Ansah, as well as 2010 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year DT Ndamukong Suh, who was selected to four Pro Bowls as a member of the Lions. Mayhew was also responsible for signing WR Golden Tate and S Glover Quin in free agency, both of whom went on to earn Pro Bowl honors in Detroit.
In 2015, Detroit had five players selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2000 (WR Calvin Johnson, Tate, Stafford, Suh & Quin). The previous year, Mayhew constructed a Lions team that won 11 games for the fourth time in franchise history. That year, Detroit finished second in total defense and third in points allowed, led by their top-ranked rush defense that allowed just 69.3 yards per game. In 2009 and 2010, trades by Mayhew netted the Lions extra first round picks, marking the first time in franchise history the team had multiple selections in the first round in back to back seasons.
Originally a 10th round selection (262nd overall) of the Buffalo Bills in the 1988 NFL Draft, Mayhew played nine seasons in the NFL. During his career with Buffalo (1988), Washington (1989-92) and Tampa Bay (1993-96), he appeared in 118 games (107 starts) and registered 473 tackles, 21 interceptions, four forced fumbles and 1.0 sack. In 1991, Mayhew started and was a member of the Super Bowl XXVI champion Washington Redskins.
A native of Daytona Beach, FL, Mayhew graduated from Florida State University with a degree in business management and earned his law degree from Georgetown University’s Law Center in 2000. While at FSU, he was a National Merit and Achievement Scholar and earned GTE CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. He was also a two-sport athlete, lettering on both the Seminoles football and track teams. During the 1999 season while attending law school, Mayhew spent nine months as an intern in the Redskins personnel department. He also had two separate internship stints with the NFL league office in both the Labor Operations and Legal departments before joining the Lions in 2001.