SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The winless San Francisco 49ers released disgruntled defensive stalwart NaVorro Bowman Friday saying he and the club were “going in different directions.”
First year General Manager John Lynch said the decision to release the former All-Pro came after a face-to-face meeting.
“Thursday evening, (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) 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,” Lynch said in a prepared statement.
Bowman had been outspoken recently after his playing time on the field for the rebuilding 49ers.
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.
He was 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.
This season, Bowman started each of the team’s first five games of the season, where he registered 38 tackles and one pass defensed.
“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.”
A 29-year-old native of District Heights, Maryland, 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.
“Although NaVorro may be moving on, he will always be looked at as one of the great players to wear the red and gold,” Lynch said. “We wish him and his family great success.”