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49ers’ NaVorro Bowman announces his retirement

NaVorro Bowman, 49ers

NaVorro Bowman is calling it a career. Many prominent players have announced their retirements this offseason, and the linebacker joined the chorus of players hanging up their cleats Tuesday. The San Francisco 49ers, his former team, announced the news themselves.

Bowman stopped by the team’s facility to inform them of his decision, so that he could retire as a member of the team. Several players have stopped by their old stomping grounds to sign one-day contracts recently, including Jamaal Charles with the Chiefs and Haloti Ngata with the Ravens.

Bowman originally entered the league as a third-round pick in 2010. A Penn State product, Bowman became a starter in 2011 and had a great run of success. He was a four-time first-team All-Pro with the 49ers, and is one of the best linebackers in recent franchise history. He also started Super Bowl XLVII as a member of the team.

Bowman tore his ACL and MCL in the 2013 NFC Championship Game, and missed the entire 2014 season as a result. He came back strong in 2015, though, earning another All-Pro selection. However, injuries, including an Achilles tear, continued to sap his effectiveness, and the team cut him midway through the 2017 season at his request after being benched.

“NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful,” 49ers GM John Lynch said at the time of Bowman’s release. “During that time, NaVorro was a key component of one of the best teams in the league, and his passion for the game allowed him to quickly become a favorite of our faithful fans.”

Bowman signed on with the Raiders for the end of the 2017 season, then spent all of last year out of football. He had a decorated career, and can retire knowing he accomplished far more than the vast majority of third-round picks.