Veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman is not on the trade block, according to the 49ers’ top decision-makers.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan issued a joint statement to NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday morning when asked to comment on a report from former NFL executive Mike Lombardi, who stated the 49ers are shopping Bowman in a trade.
Lynch and Shanahan stated:
“The report that we have been shopping NaVorro Bowman is completely false. From the time we joined the organization, NaVorro has been the consummate professional. It is evident he has been working very hard to prepare for the upcoming season and we have been impressed by what we have already seen on the field. We are looking forward to NaVorro’s future contributions to this team.”
Lombardi is a former NFL executive who was a finalist for the 49ers’ general manager job when Trent Baalke was promoted to that position in January 2011. He made his statement about the 49ers trying to trade Bowman on “The Ringer NFL Show” podcast.
“They are definitely doing that,” Lombardi said. “They’ve made it know that if you want him, he’s healthy, that they’ll be willing to move (him).
“Whenever there is a new coaching staff – and this is an Al Davisism -- whenever there is a new coaching staff, you have to always know that the teams that hire new coaches are going to get rid of players because they want different players.”
“Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are going to clear out that roster. Bowman is a guy who’s been a leader in the locker room. He’s been part of the team. He had a really good relationship with the old general manager, Trent Baalke, so I think that’s a message they’d send to the locker room that he’s no longer in control any more. He’s available if you want him.”
Bowman signed a contract extension last summer through the 2022 season. He is scheduled to earn $7.5 million in salary and bonuses this season. His pay jumps to $9.45 million in 2018.
“I don’t know who’s going to pay him $9.5 million coming off all the injuries that he’s had, but you can have him,” Lombardi said. “I think that ultimately, you have to make that decision, and I don’t think it’ll be a lot. I think the 49ers will get rid of him for very little.”
Bowman is back on the practice field this spring after sustaining a torn Achilles in Week 4. He missed the entire 2014 season with a severe knee injury. Bowman, who turns 29 this month, is a four-time first-team All-Pro.
Lombardi was first to report during the NFL draft that the 49ers made tight end Vance McDonald available for trade talks. Lynch and Shanahan confirmed that report.