49ers release veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman

The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday they have released linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

"Thursday evening, [49ers 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," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "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."

Earlier on Friday, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the 49ers were shopping Bowman?and that there were teams interested in the veteran.?

Bowman, 29, has been unhappy with his playing time with the 49ers. He has played in all five games this season, getting 38 total tackles, but his snaps have been reduced as Brock Coyle has gotten more opportunities.

After an 0-5 start to the season, Shanahan was asked Monday if it would be easy to start taking a look at younger players in an effort to build for the future.

"I think it's a fair question, especially when you're 0-5," Shanahan said. "But, I think my goal right now is, I try to keep perspective ...?so I don't want to sit here and just make a ton of changes and totally go that direction."

In May, Bowman said he wasn't concerned about competition for his job after trade rumors had surfaced. The 49ers quickly shot that rumor down.

A knee injury kept Bowman out for the entire 2014 season, and an Achilles injury ended his season in 2016 after just four games. When healthy, he has been one of the NFL's best linebackers.

Entering this season,?Bowman has recorded two of the top five seasons in solo tackles (120 in 2013, 116 in '15) since he entered the NFL in 2010 as a third-round pick. He ranks seventh overall in tackles (505) during that span, despite missing 20 games to injury over two of the past three seasons. He also was selected to three Pro Bowls.

Overall, Bowman has 709 total tackles, 12 1/2 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions in his 8 seasons with the 49ers.

ESPN's Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.

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