Any time a team changes leadership, you can expect plenty of changes.
But the 49ers took an unusual step to make it clear they weren’t trying to get rid of veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
It all started when former league executive Mike Lombardi said on a podcast the 49ers were trying to move Bowman, who signed an extension last year which binds him to the 49ers through 2022.
That prompted 49ers General Manager John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan to issue a joint statement to NBC Sports Bay Area denying the report.
“The report that we have been shopping NaVorro Bowman is completely false,” the statement read. “From the time we joined the organization, NaVorro has been the consummate professional. It is evident he has been working very hard to prepare for the upcoming season and we have been impressed by what we have already seen on the field. We are looking forward to NaVorro’s future contributions to this team.”
There are valid reasons to think Bowman might not be part of their long-term plans. He’s an older player (turns 29 next month) on a team getting younger, he makes a lot of money ($7.5 million this year, $9.45 million next year) and suffered a torn Achilles last year and has a history of knee problems.
But the response suggests that they still see value there.