49ers put out statement to deny NaVorro Bowman trade rumors

The San Francisco 49ers’ new regime wants to make sure that the record is set straight on all trade rumors, true or false.

There were some NaVorro Bowman trade rumors this week, and the 49ers quickly shot those down.

Mike Lombardi, a former NFL executive, said on a podcast by The Ringer that the 49ers were shopping Bowman. Mostly NFL teams ignore those types of reports, unless there’s something to be gained by giving them life or shooting them down publicly. The 49ers acted quickly to shoot this rumor down, taking the unusual step on Thursday morning of putting out a joint statement from general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. They said the rumor is “completely false.”

We’ll get to Bowman specifically in a moment, but it’s of equal interest that the 49ers are being so transparent under Lynch and Shanahan. Last month, the 49ers were open and honest about their efforts to trade tight end Vance McDonald. McDonald wasn’t traded and remains with the team, which is a bit awkward. Again, teams generally don’t share such information about trade talks, unless there’s a good reason for it.

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While the transparency is a good thing for fans – the militaristic way in which most NFL teams operate can get old at times – it’s also interesting to see if it will continue. What happens when the 49ers really are shopping a key player and don’t want to acknowledge it publicly? Their silence will say a lot.

On the Bowman rumor, it did make some sense on the surface. Bowman is 28 and has a history of severe leg injuries, the most recent a torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2016 season. The rebuilding 49ers shouldn’t be opposed to shopping anybody, especially a respected veteran like Bowman who could still have value. But it also makes sense why the new staff would want Bowman. His leadership and production will be a bonus for a young team, particularly any example he sets for rookie first-round pick Reuben Foster.

The pros and cons of a potential trade don’t really matter because unless the 49ers are blatantly lying, Bowman isn’t going anywhere. If that changes, the 49ers will probably let us know.

The 49ers denied a rumor that NaVorro Bowman could be traded. (AP)
The 49ers denied a rumor that NaVorro Bowman could be traded. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!