The San Francisco 49ers surprisingly released linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Friday. Would he fit with the Baltimore Ravens?
Bowman has been named to three Pro Bowls and has been named an All-Pro four times. He’s had some injury problems in the past, tearing his ACL and MCL in the 2013 NFC title game, forcing him to sit out the entire 2014 season.
He then bounced back and played all 16 games of the 2015 season, earning his third Pro Bowl nomination. He then tore his Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season and was forced to sit out the remainder of the season. So far in 2017, he’s been healthy, playing in all five weeks.
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Initially, there were reports that the 49ers were shopping Bowman for a trade, however, general manager John Lynch said that the team decided to release him at his request.
Now Bowman will be looking for a new team to play for, and the Baltimore Ravens make a lot of sense for the Pro Bowler. First off, the guy is from the area, born in District Heights, Maryland and he went to high school at Suitland High School in Forestville.
Maybe that part won’t matter, but what does matter is that the Baltimore Ravens have an already fairly formidable defense but could use some help on the linebacker front. Bowman’s used to playing in a 3-4 defense like the one the Ravens run, and putting him in the middle with C.J. Mosley sounds like a force to be reckoned with.
Bowman might be 29 years old, but he’s still an impressive linebacker. He’s solid in coverage and can get to the quarterback fast.
Not only can he bust through the defensive line to get to the quarterback, but he can take down a running back pretty easily too.
Bowman had a 70.2 rating on Pro Football Focus in 2015, which is better than both current Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Kamalei Correa and outer linebacker Matt Judon, and just below Mosley’s grade of 73.4 (Terrell Suggs leads the linebackers with a grade of 80.6).
Bowman is going to be fairly affordable, and I would imagine that his main focus is wanting to play for a contender. Certainly, it could be argued that the Baltimore Ravens are that, and if they’re able to sign Bowman, they will have one of the more formidable defenses in the NFL.