If you needed any further reminder that the 49ers are rebuilding, it came on Friday as they released linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
General manager John Lynch explained the reasoning behind the release telling reporters: "Thursday evening, (49ers 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".
NaVorro Bowman can still play at a high level, and one lucky team is going to get him for the rest of the year.
"Drew spoke to me on Monday night and indicated his frustration on behalf of NaVorro and I told him that 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 communicated that if that's the case NaVorro would prefer to be traded". A year later, again in the conference championship, he suffered a grisly knee injury that washed out his 2014 season. Bowman saw his role decrease with the 49ers, especially in their week five loss against the Colts, where he sat out three drives in that game.
The 6-foot, 242-pound Bowman was originally selected by the 49ers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Penn State.
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In 2015, Bowman showed that he could bounce back from injury, recording 154 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. From the 2011-2013 season, Bowman was a tackling machine, having a least 143 tackles in each of those seasons. With the injured Malcolm Smith tied to a long-term deal, this is a move that makes flawless sense for a rebuilding team, even if it will sting considerably from a purely emotional standpoint.
There is a ton of interest in Bowman, and here are five teams that could scoop him up after the weekend. "I know he's a fan favorite".
He should be. The 49ers have won two of 21 games over the past few years, and even if better days are coming they likely would have arrived after he was gone anyway.
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