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On Friday, the San Francisco 49ers announced via a press conference that the team would be parting ways with its second-most tenured veteran, linebacker NaVorro Bowman. The decision came after a week-long back-and-forth between the 49ers, Bowman, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

Bowman, who was frustrated by his reduced playing time during last Sunday's overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts, felt that he could still play at the All-Pro level that he once exhibited. The 49ers wanted Bowman to accept a reduced role in an effort to keep the eight-year veteran fresh and rested. A competitive-minded Bowman was resistant to the idea.

That's when Rosenhaus, according to the 49ers, contacted the team about a trade and that's when general manager John Lynch and his staff reached out to the 31 other NFL teams. The 49ers were on the verge of finalizing a deal but there was one problem. Bowman didn't want to go to the team. According to NBC Sports Bay Area, that's when Rosenhaus told the 49ers that his client would publicly accept a reduced role. However, by then, Lynch knew it was too late. The 49ers canceled the proposed deal and decided to allow Bowman to pick his own destination as a free agent.

Bowman's release will become official on Saturday. News of his release came as a shock to fans and to his teammates, who learned of the decision on Friday morning prior to practice.

Tackle Joe Staley, who is the 49ers' longest-tenured player, shared his thoughts on the news.

"It's unfortunate," Staley said. "I hate to see him go. I wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up."

"I've got nothing but positive things to say about NaVorro," Staley continued. "The leader he's been, the player he's been here. He'a great person."

You can watch Staley's reaction when asked about his former teammate below.


Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, who, once completely healthy, will eventually take over the Mike linebacker spot from Bowman, also shared his thoughts on the news. Foster said that he learned toughness and pride during his short time with Bowman.

"It's tough because we made a bond," Foster said. "That's my brother. But at the end of the day, it's a business and wherever he goes, he's going to be great. His career's not over yet. Trust me."


Center Daniel Kilgore also shared how shocked he was to learn that Bowman's time with the 49ers had come to an end.

"It's tough," Kilgore said. "We spent a lot of time together. Our families have spent a lot of time together. But he's NaVorro Bowman. He's played at an elite level his whole career and he's going to continue to do that wherever he goes."