49ers rumored to be shopping linebacker NaVorro Bowman

Lloyd Doyle
October 13, 2017

NaVorro Bowman's time as a member of the San Francisco 49ers came to a surprising end Friday when he was released. Earlier this offseason, San Francisco inked free-agent linebacker Malcolm Smith to a five-year, $26.5 million contract with option years in 2020 and 2021. That led to the decision to trade Bowman.

"NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful", said 49ers General Manager John Lynch.

"Thursday evening, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I met with NaVorro, and from our conversation it became evident that going in different directions was best for both him and our team".

It appears that All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman may not be in the Bay Area much longer, at least in red and gold colors. "We wish him and his family great success". Still, there are many teams in the league who would love to get their hands on a player with Bowman's leadership ability, playing instincts and overall NFL experience.

The 29-year-old has spent his entire seven-year career with the 49ers after being selected by them in the third round of the 2010 draft. He has sustained two major injuries to his left leg since January of 2014. He has made four All-Pro teams along the way, including the year in which he returned from an ACL injury that caused him to miss the entirety of the previous season. He ranks 47th among linebackers in tackling efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus.

The 49ers appeared to be phasing Bowman out of their defense this season.

Bowman was one of the key contributors during the team's playoff runs from 2011 through 2013, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. San Francisco used a first-round pick on linebacker Reuben Foster in April, but he has dealt with an ankle injury in the first month of his rookie season.

Bowman saw 58 snaps during the Niners' 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 - 76 percent, which is unusual, considering he is typically in on every defensive snap.

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