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49ers release four-time All-Pro LB NaVorro Bowman

NaVorro Bowman
08 August 2013: Preseason action with the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos won 10-6 over the 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (Photo © Terrell Lloyd) (49ers Photo)

The San Francisco 49ers have released four-time First-team All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was on the trade block on Friday.

The eight-year veteran was on the sideline more often than not this past week, much to his consternation.

“I don’t like it. Nobody likes coming out of the game, but I’m a team player,” Bowman said after Sunday’s overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts, according to Chris Biderman of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Bowman told the 49ers he’d rather be released than be a player the team isn’t going to use as a starter, so the franchise obliged his request.

“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 suffered a devastating knee injury in the 2013 NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks. He missed the entire 2014 season but played in all 16 games during the 2015 season and put together a stellar season that year, earning First-team All-Pro honors. Another injury last year, to his Achilles tendon, cost him 12 games.

In five games this year, Bowman tallied 22 total tackles. ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted in his report about the 49ers shopping Bowman that other teams were interested. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said in his press conference Friday that the 49ers were shopping Bowman Thursday night but decided it was best to let the veteran choose his own team.

The 49ers signed the linebacker to a four-year contract last year, worth up to $42 million.