49ers release linebacker NaVorro Bowman

The San Francisco 49ers released linebacker NaVorro Bowman Friday, per his request.

Bowman, who had been with the 49ers since 2010, when he was selected in the third round of that year's NFL Draft, has 38 tackles so far this season. 

A four-time first-team All-Pro, Bowman recorded at least 143 tackles in each season from 2011-2015, and he also has seven forced fumbles and four interceptions in his career.

His pick-six in a 2013 win over the Atlanta Falcons marked the last touchdown scored at Candlestick Park before the 49ers moved to their new Levi's Stadium home.

"NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a press 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 favourite of our faithful fans.

"Thursday evening, [head 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.

"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."

San Francisco is one of three winless teams (New York Giants and Cleveland Browns) remaining in the league, their last four losses coming by a combined 11 points.

Rookie first-round pick Reuben Foster is set to take Bowman's starting spot, with the first-round pick poised to return from a high ankle sprain suffered in the season opener.

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