49ers GM John Lynch announced Friday that they’re releasing veteran LB NaVorro Bowman.
“NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that, we are all extremely grateful,” said Lynch in a statement. “During that time, NaVorro was a key component of one of the best teams in the League and his passion for the game allowed him to quickly become a favorite of our Faithful fans. Thursday evening, Kyle 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. Although NaVorro may be moving on, he will always be looked at as one of the great players to wear the red and gold. We wish him and his family great success.”
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan told reports that they had a “pretty good” trade lined up but it didn’t work out the way Bowman wanted, per Cam Inman. Lynch added that they spoke with every team in the league about a potential deal involving Bowman, per Inman.
- Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier in the day that the 49ers were shopping Bowman and there was interest from teams in a potential deal.
- According to Ian Rapoport, Bowman’s agent Drew Rosenhaus sent a letter to 31 teams this week saying he had permission to seek a trade involving his client.
- Pro Football Talk reports that Bowman and the NFLPA believe Bowman can collect “termination pay” and double dip after signing with a new team.
It’s likely that the Bowman’s contract was a large inhibitor for a potential trade and ultimately prevented a deal from getting done.
San Francisco used a first-round pick on Reuben Foster, and it’s clear that they plan to move forward with him as their middle linebacker.
Bowman, 29, is a former third-round pick of the 49ers back in 2010. He’s currently in the second year of his seven-year, $77 million contract that includes $20 million guaranteed and was set to make a base salary of $6.75 million for the 2017 season.
It’s worth mentioning that Bowman is still working his way back from a season-ending Achilles tear he suffered last year.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Bowman will free up $9,450,000 of available cap space while creating $2.544 million in dead money.
In 2017, Bowman has appeared in five games for the 49ers and recorded 38 tackles, no sacks or interceptions and one pass defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 63 linebacker out of 86 qualifying players.