Former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman will be signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders worth $3 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers initially tried to trade him, but decided it was best to release him so he could select his own team.
Bowman joins a Raiders team that could use some help defensively. They rank 23rd in the NFL in total defense, and desperately need help at the linebacker position. Their fifth-round pick from the 2017 draft, Marquel Lee, is injured. Behind Lee are Tyrell Adams and undrafted free agent rookie Nicholas Morrow. So Bowman’s experience will immediately come in handy, even if he isn’t the player he once was.
The Raiders will hope the improved defense could help the Raiders offense, which has also struggled this season with their 2-4 start.
He has spent his entire career with the 49ers since being drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft out of Penn State. He, along with Patrick Willis, led a fearsome 49ers defense for years, where he earned four consecutive first-team All-Pro nods from 2011-2015.
The 49ers released Bowman on Friday. GM John Lynch released the following statement:
“NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful. 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 is still getting the remainder of his money from the 49ers — a cool $6.75 million — on top of the $3 million the Raiders will pay him this season.
Now Bowman gets a chance with a better Oakland Raiders squad, while Kyle Shanahan and company try to right the ship in San Francisco.