49ers deny ‘shopping’ linebacker Bowman
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch issued a joint statement Thursday refuting a report from ex-NFL executive Mike Lombardi that linebacker NaVorro Bowman was available in a trade.
“The report that we have been shopping NaVorro Bowman is completely false,” the statement reads. “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, who most recently worked for the New England Patriots, did a recent podcast on The Ringer in which he discussed prominent players from several teams that were being considered for trade. He took to Twitter Thursday after the 49ers issued their statement: “I stand by my report on Bowman — they can deny all they want.”
Bowman, 28, is the 49ers’ most well-known player, one who inked a four-year extension last year that keeps him under contract until 2022 and one who is coming back from an Achilles tear.
“They’ve made it known that if you want him, he’s healthy, they’ll be willing to move (Bowman),” Lombardi said. “I think what fans have to understand is, this is what we always did in the league, whenever there’s a new coaching staff — and this is an Al Davisism — 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, they’re going to clean out that roster,” Lombardi said. “Bowman is a guy who’s been a leader in the locker room, he’s been a part of the team, he had a really good relationship with the old general manager, Trent Baalke. So I think this is a message he would send to the locker room that he’s no longer in control any more. He’s available if you want him”
Lombardi was the first to note that the 49ers had discussed trading tight end Vance McDonald during the draft, which Lynch and Shanahan acknowledged.
“We’re trying any way possible to improve our team,” Shanahan said when asked whether the 49ers had discussed trading McDonald. “We did it with Vance the most because a lot of people are interested in Vance. But we were ready to do that with anybody. We’ll listen to that always and try to improve our team in any way we can because we have a lot of work to do.”