NaVorro Bowman was back at San Francisco 49ers headquarters on Tuesday afternoon to announce his retirement from the NFL. In doing so, he made it clear that he wanted to step away from football as a member of the 49ers.
"You remember the blood, sweat and tears of the guys that you played with. You remember the respect that you earned," Bowman said. "I feel like the 49ers are my home. It's the place that loved me from the start, and so I wanted to come back and retire as a Niner."
Bowman spent eight plus years with the 49ers after being selected in the third round (91st overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He and Patrick Willis formed one of the most (if not the most) vaunted linebacker tandems in recent history. Bowman was named All-Pro four times (2011-13, 2015) and made three Pro Bowls (2012-13, 2015). He helped lead the 49ers to three straight NFC Championships as well as a berth in Super Bowl XLVII.
A gruesome knee injury in the 2013 playoffs cost Bowman the entire 2014 season. He returned in 2015 and led the NFL with 154 total tackles, earning All-Pro honors and another trip to the Pro Bowl. San Francisco released Bowman on Oct. 13, 2017, and the linebacker went on to play his final 10 games with the Oakland Raiders.
"NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful," John Lynch said at the time of Bowman's release. "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."
For his career (regular season and playoffs combined), Bowman racked up 877 total tackles, 16.5 sacks, five interceptions, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and one touchdown -- an 89-yard interception returned for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons known as "The Pick at the Stick."
The 49ers weren't officially able to sign Bowman to a 1-day contract as the roster is full, and it would have required a subsequent roster move. Regardless of the formality, Bowman will forever be regarded as one of the best linebackers to ever don a 49ers uniform.
Bowman is currently back in the D.C. area enjoying time with his family, and he just finished coaching his son's U-10 basketball team. The kids call him Coach Bo.