Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



Linebacker NaVorro Bowman's time with the San Francisco 49ers has come to an end. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed on Friday that Bowman would be released.

"NaVorro spoke publicly about his frustration with the strategy that Kyle and his staff had put together to try to get the best out of NaVorro, in our minds," Lynch told the media. "Have it be best for NaVorro and our team. [Bowman's agent] Drew [Rosenhaus] spoke to me on Monday night and indicated his frustration on behalf of NaVorro and I told him I had talked with Kyle and his staff and that we were convicted. That we felt like this was the best thing for him, which in response, Drew indicated that if that's the case, NaVorro would prefer to be traded."

The team came "very close" to trading Bowman on Thursday, but after speaking to the linebacker, decided it would be best for him to be able to look at each of the other 31 NFL teams. That led to the decision to release 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 via a statement issued by the team. "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."

Earlier on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the team was looking to trade Bowman.

Bowman, who is in his eighth NFL season, was drafted out of Penn State by the 49ers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He has sustained two major injuries to his left leg since January of 2014. Bowman appeared in just four games in 2016 after a torn Achilles ended his season last October. The injury came nearly 13 months after his return from gruesome ACL and MCL tears.

This season, Bowman has 38 total tackles and one pass defensed. He ranks 47th among linebackers in tackling efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. Bowman's overall grade through five games this season is the lowest of his career.

Bowman has earned AP First-Team All-Pro honors four times in his career (2011-13, 2015), as well as three trips to the Pro Bowl (2013-14, 2016). During his career, he has appeared in 89 games with 74 starts and compiled 808 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and 28 passes defensed.

Bowman, who has been an every-down player since becoming a full-time starter in 2011, found himself on the sideline during an overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. He played in 58 of 76 defensive snaps against the Colts and saw Brock Coyle replace him for two series.

This is not the first time this year that Bowman's name had popped up regarding trade talk. In May, Mike Lombardi of The Ringer reported that the 49ers were quietly shopping the linebacker. Lynch and Shanahan called the report "completely false" in a joint statement issued to NBC Sports Bay Area.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster is expected to return to the starting lineup soon, possibly as soon as Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Many have felt that Foster's natural position on the defense would be at the Mike linebacker spot, which is where Bowman played. Foster even got reps during training camp at the position and was put in charge of calling out plays while there. Shanahan confirmed on Friday that when Foster returns, he will play in place of Bowman.

Bowman's cap hit this season was going to be about $9.6 million. In 2018, that number was to increase to nearly $12 million.

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