Former Penn State LB NaVorro Bowman released by the San Francisco 49ers

Former Penn State LB NaVorro Bowman released by the San Francisco 49ers

"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". [Bowman's agent] Drew [Rosenhaus] spoke to me on Monday night and indicated his frustration on behalf of NaVorro and I told him I had talked with Kyle and his staff and that we were convicted.

Bowman was reportedly on the trade block, but the 49ers evidently decided it was best to just move on.

Bowman originally joined the 49ers as a third-round pick in 2010 and quickly formed one of the league's best linebacking duos with Patrick Willis. The team signed Bowman to a four-year extension in 2016, locking him into the team until 2022. Rapoport cites Bowman's injury history and large base salary as barriers to the trade.

He recorded at least 143 tackles and was named to the All-Pro first team in each of those three seasons. He ranks 47th among linebackers in tackling efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. He had 38 tackles and one pass defended in five games this season, and his career line stands at 808 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries, impressive numbers considering he missed all of the 2014 season due to injury and then most of the 2016 season, as well.

Bowman did not hide his displeasure after Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts, upset over being replaced in favor of Brock Coyle for a couple of series. Shanahan said Friday that he believed Bowman's spot at MIKE was Foster's natural position.

Bowman now enters free agency for the first time in his career and is likely to have a wealth of suitors. Ray-Ray Armstrong had been filling in for Foster at WILL alongside Bowman and has played well the past two weeks.

Bowman's cap hit this season is about $9.6 million.