The 49ers announced on Friday that Bowman has been released. General Manager John Lynch said in a statement that he and coach Kyle Shanahan met with Bowman on Thursday night and determined that parting ways was in the best interest of all involved.
“NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful,” Lynch said. “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.”
Bowman was a third-round pick of the 2010 draft and made several All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams during his time with the team. That time was interuppted by a pair of major injuries — a knee injury that wiped out the entire 2014 season and an Achilles tear four games into last season — but Bowman was a tackling and playmaking machine when healthy. He’s taken a step back from that elite level, but remains a useful player.
He’ll be a free agent upon the league processing the move. While his $6.75 million salary may have made a trade difficult, it seems likely that he’ll land somewhere else to continue his career before too much time passes.