The San Francisco 49ers released veteran linebacker NaVorrow Bowman on Friday, and the Chicago Bears could be interested in reuniting defensive coordinator Vic Fangio with his former star player. The better news is that his salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed, meaning that he'll get the rest of the $6.75 million base salary he was due to receive this year. 49ers general manager John Lynch tested the waters, but ultimately there wasn't a trade partner that worked for all sides.
Rather than trade Bowman, though, the Niners elected to release the four-time All-Pro outright, as made known by the team's website. 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.
Here we look at how the 49ers came to release Bowman and what it means for him and San Francisco going forward. However, any team that acquires Bowman would be able to easily get out of the contract not long after trading him. He may never receive the recognition he merits as a result of his injuries, but he will forever be remembered by the 49ers as a cornerstone of a team that, but for a few bounces of the ball, could have celebrated three successive Super Bowl titles. "I know he's a fan favorite". Last year, however, he suffered another season-ending injury, an Achilles tear, and missed most of the season.
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Taking all that into account, the conclusion has to be that the 49ers are doing the right thing by letting Bowman scour the open market and find a team where he can compete for the Super Bowl ring he richly deserves. A three-time Pro Bowler, Bowman has recorded 709 tackles and 12.5 sacks during his eight-year career.
There is a ton of interest in Bowman, and here are five teams that could scoop him up after the weekend.
Bowman returned the following year and led the National Football League in tackles. "No one likes coming out of the game, but I'm a team player".