"Navorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful", said GM John Lynch in a statement.
"Thursday evening, (49ers 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. We wish him and his family great success". This season, Bowman started each of the team's first five games of the season, where he registered 38 tackles and one pass defensed.
Bowman has been one of the NFL's best inside linebacker for several years and has battled his way back from serious lower extremity injuries to remain effective at 29 years old. Bowman was also the recipient of the 49ers Ed Block Courage Award that year. He ranks seventh overall in tackles (505) during that span, despite missing 20 games to injury over two of the past three seasons.
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The 49ers then drafted star linebacker Reuben Foster from Alabama in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, general manager Reggie McKenzie would be wise to do all he can bring Bowman on board before this season gets any further out of hand.
The familiarity with Fangio and the need at inside linebacker makes Bowman an interesting free-agent candidate, but it remains to be seen if the two sides have mutual interest. He's still young and productive enough to start on many National Football League defenses, but San Francisco has a first-year coach and general manager trying to remake the roster how they want.