49ers releasing All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Na Vorro Bowman warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara Calif. Monday Sept. 12 2016

Although NaVorro may be moving on, he will always be looked at as one of the great players to wear the red and gold.

As if an answer to prayer from the football gods, the 49ers released their starting middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman Friday, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, paving the way for the Raiders to plug a glaring hole on their defense. He appeared in only four contests past year after tearing his Achilles tendon in early October.

In a tweet sent out by ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bowman is being shopped by the San Francisco 49ers...and teams are interested.

Bowman (6-0, 242) was originally drafted by the 49ers in the third round (91st overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Reuben Foster went down with a leg injury in the season opener. The injury came almost 13 months after his return from gruesome ACL and MCL tears.

Bowman was one of the key contributors during the team's playoff runs from 2011 through 2013, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. During his career, he has appeared in 89 games with 74 starts and compiled 808 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and 28 passes defensed.

With starting middle linebacker Marquel Lee injured (ankle) and out indefinitely, Oakland has already reported that they'll be placing their hopes at Major League Baseball in the undrafted, 6-foot, 215-pound rookie linebacker Nicholas Morrow against the Chargers Sunday. Bowman at his best was a complete linebacker, but the player of 2015 was far more one-dimensional.

Bowman's cap hit this season is about $9.6 million.

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