The 49ers are looking to go younger at the linebacker spot, as they have released NaVarro Bowman. Bowman saw his role decrease with the 49ers, especially in their week five loss against the Colts, where he sat out three drives in that game. He is an all-pro caliber linebacker but has struggled the last few seasons. Bowman was part of the 49ers defense that went to three NFC Championship games with Jim Harbaugh as the Head Coach. Now that Bowman has hit the market, many teams will be asking for his services because of their own lack at the linebacker position.

Nothing was the same

Bowman was drafted in 2010 by the 49ers as a third-round pick. He started for San Francisco the following year and began his dominant run as one of the league's best backers. From the 2011-2013 season, Bowman was a tackling machine, having a least 143 tackles in each of those seasons. He also was recognized for his outstanding play by being selected first team all-pro in those three seasons as well. However, Bowman wasn't the same after he suffered a gruesome leg injury in the 2014 season.

General manager John Lynch explained the reasoning behind the release telling reporters: "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.

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.” (Bleacherreport)

Bowman still had two years remaining on his current deal with San Francisco, including a $8.7 million base salary in 2018. Bowman has been solid in the run game, but he has struggled in the passing game.

He allowed QBs to complete 90.3 percent of his passes thrown his way and a quarterback rating of 110.9. Bowman might not feel as confident as before in his knee, even though it's been a few years since his injury.

A new home

Bowman still shouldn't be overlooked as many teams could use a linebacker of his caliber. He is still young at the age of 29, and show flashes of his former self when in the game.

Bowman was primarily a 3-4 linebacker, so some teams won't be the right for him. Nevertheless, Bowman's talent shouldn't be overlooked, especially as a run stopper. This is the time in Bowman's career where he can get a little selfish, and choose to sign with a team that is close to winning a championship. He could also choose to sign with the team that offers him the most money which wouldn't be so bad either. Bowman's surprising release from the 49ers was something he might need in order to revitalize his career.