The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that they have released linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
"NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful," said 49ers General Manager John Lynch. "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 (6-0, 242) was originally drafted by the 49ers in the third round (91st overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The eight-year veteran earned Associated Press First-Team All-Pro honors four times in his career (2011-13 & 2015), as well as three trips to the Pro Bowl (2013-14 & 2016). During his career, he has appeared in 89 games (74 starts) and registered 808 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 28 passes defensed. Bowman also led the team in tackles in four of the previous six seasons (2011-13 & 2015). This season, Bowman started each of the team's first five games of the season, where he registered 38 tackles and one pass defensed.
After missing the entire 2014 season due to injury, Bowman returned to action in 2015 and led the NFL with 154 total tackles, according to gamebook statistics. He also added 2.5 sacks and two passes defensed, earning First-Team All-Pro honors and a selection to the Pro Bowl. Bowman was also the recipient of the 49ers Ed Block Courage Award that year. In 2016, he started in each of the team's first four games where he registered 35 tackles, two passes defensed, one interception, one sack and one forced fumble before he was placed on the Injured Reserve List on October 6, 2016. A 29-year-old native of District Heights, MD, Bowman earned Second-Team All-America honors at Penn State, as he notched 215 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career.