NaVorro Bowman Signs 1-Year Raiders Contract After 49ers Release

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Cooper Kupp #18 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by NaVorro Bowman #53 of the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Free-agent linebacker NaVorro Bowman and the Oakland Raiders agreed to terms Monday after the four-time All Pro was cut by the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 13.

The Raiders would share video of Bowman already wearing a Raiders jersey:


“The tradition here, how hard we play, the identity...Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of it?” NaVorro Bowman hits the field https://t.co/LQy1U3dmEp

It's a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal is worth $3 million.

"The Raiders showing a lot of enthusiasm and wanting me to come here made it a lot easier," said Bowman, via Levi Damien of SB Nation. When asked about playing on Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs, Bowman didn't rule it out, "If I'm prepared enough, I'm definitely gonna give it a shot."

Bowman reportedly planned to visit the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, but the linebacker chose to stay local with the Raiders instead, per Nick Eatman of the team's official site.

Bleacher Report's Ian Wharton provided his thoughts on the signing:

Ian Wharton @NFLFilmStudy

Bowman's a good pickup for the Raiders. Their season is on the brink of being over already but if he plays well, I can see him back there for 2018 as well.

Bowman spent the first seven-plus years of his career in the Bay Area, and he quickly emerged as one of the NFL's premier inside linebackers after arriving in 2010. All told, Bowman recorded 708 total tackles, 12.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, 28 pass breakups and four interceptions in 89 appearances with the 49ers.

However, Bowman's late 20s have been defined more by medical woes than on-field success.

After suffering a torn ACL and MCL in the 49ers' NFC Championship Game loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Bowman was forced to miss the entire 2014 campaign.

And while Bowman rebounded spectacularly and earned All-Pro honors in 2015 by tallying 154 total tackles and 2.5 sacks, his 2016 campaign was cut short after four games due to a torn Achilles.

Bowman recovered fully and was on the field for 93.9 percent of the team's defensive snaps through the first five games of 2017, during which time he registered 37 total tackles.

But according to one coach who spoke with The MMQB's Albert Breer, Bowman simply doesn't have the burst that once made him a feared interior presence in his prime:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

An offensive coach who faced him this year texted that NaVorro Bowman doesn't run well anymore, but still a good tackler, can fill a role.

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Here's another coach on NaVorro Bowman: "Definitely lost a few steps. Still instinctive and can shed blocks. Struggles in space."

With questions still lingering regarding his lateral agility, Bowman appears best served as an early-down run-stopping specialist who will cede the field to more nimble linebackers in obvious passing situations.

For the time being, the 29-year-old should operate in tandem with Cory James and, when healthy, Marquel Lee to help fortify the middle of the Raiders front seven.


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