Especially after the 2017 NFL Draft addition of linebacker Reuben Foster and the free-agent signing of linebacker Malcolm Smith.
"NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful", Lynch said in a statement.
He recorded at least 143 tackles and was named to the All-Pro first team in each of those three seasons. 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.
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. "We wish him and his family great success". According to Pro Football Focus, Bowman leads the 49ers with 31 tackles and 17 stops so far this season.
Since returning from the knee injury he suffered during the 2014 NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks, Bowman hasn't been the same dominant linebacker.
While this is a little shocking, it is not the strangest thing to see a rebuilding team ship out aging assets in favor of developing young players. The team signed Bowman to a four-year extension in 2016, locking him into the team until 2022. Bowman's salary-cap figure next year goes to $12 million, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The issue becomes whether Bowman wants to come to Chicago as opposed to going to play with a Super Bowl contender, and the question of his price tag could also play a role.
Bowman, who has been an every-down player since becoming a full-time starter in 2011, found himself on the sideline during an overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.