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 went over prominent players from several teams that were being considered for trade.
Bowman is the 49ers’ most prominent 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’d be willing to move (Bowman),” Lombardi said. “I think what fans have to understand is, this is what we always did in the league — 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.”
Lombardi was the first to note that the 49ers had discussed trading tight end Vance McDonald during the draft, something that Lynch and Shanahan acknowledged.
“We’re trying any way possible to improve our team,” Shanahan said last month. “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.”
Added Lynch: “It left me thinking, because I would say a quarter of the teams called us with various players that they’re kind of shopping, it got me thinking, how many times in my career I was shopped and never knew about it. I can tell you that in this day and age, things tend to get out.”
Last week Shanahan said Bowman’s recovery from Achilles surgery has occurred faster than Shanahan expected.
“I couldn’t be more excited with Bo than I am right now,” he said. “He’s been winning our drills, our shuttles. … Just to come out there and watch him. He does not look like a guy coming off an Achilles.”