Salary cap implications of 49ers releasing NaVorro Bowman

Salary cap implications of 49ers releasing NaVorro Bowman

The 49ers decision Friday to release veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman comes just 14 months after he was rewarded with a lucrative, long-term contract extension.

Trent Baalke, the 49ers’ general manager at the time, said he was “thrilled to know” Bowman would play his entire career with the 49ers.

But that contract also likely contributed to the new regime's decision to part ways with Bowman sooner rather than later.

“We took everything into account,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said on Friday. “And having said that, we felt like it was the best decision for us.”

Bowman appeared in just four games with the 49ers last season before sustaining a career-changing torn Achilles. When he came back this season, Bowman did not look like the same player. The 49ers’ coaching staff was beginning to lessen his workload in order to keep him fresh.

After Bowman expressed dissatisfaction with his changing role – publicly and privately – Lynch said the 49ers engaged in trade talks with “a couple teams” before opting to release him.

Here are the financial implications of the 49ers’ decision to part ways with Bowman, based on contract details filed through the NFL Player Assciation:

The 49ers will not have to pay $41.7 million in salary and bonuses he was scheduled to receive over the final five years of his contract.

Bowman was scheduled to earn $6.75 million in base salary this season -- $4.7 million of which was fully guaranteed. The 49ers are charged the full $6.75 million salary, as a cap hold is placed on the non-guaranteed portion of the salary for the termination pay for which Bowman can file.

The 49ers will not have to pay approximately $515,000 this season in per-game roster bonuses.

Before the move, the 49ers had a league-high $62.94 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Next year, Bowman will account for $4.774 million of dead money -- or cap space from previously paid bonuses to a player no longer on the team. An option bonus that would have paid him an additional $3.45 million would have triggered in 2018, so the 49ers are no longer responsible for that amount.

The 49ers will save all $9.45 million of his scheduled 2018 pay, which would have included salary and bonuses.

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.