Grant explains why the 49ers could cut NaVorro Bowman, plus more

San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) is helped off the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

I’ve been getting requests to speak on podcasts since I wrote the 49ers should and could cut NaVorro Bowman. Here’s an interview I did with Brian Peacock of the “Locked on 49ers” Wednesday evening during halftime of the Warriors game. There is some overlap with the interview I did on The Krueg Show earlier this week, but I thought might you might interested anyway. You can listen below.

This article has 48 Comments

  1. We get it, you made an assumption based on one play at OTA’s and need something to write about.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with your dire assessment of Bowman for the fact that:

    1. He hasn’t put pads on yet.
    2. He’s learning a new defense
    3. It was one play in the second week of OTA’s.
    4. At this point, he is still our best LB.
    5. And you yourself stated that during drills, Bowman looks great.

    Rehearsed or not, people make mistakes and that play was likely a result of that…hopefully like your article.

    1. Completely agree. Grant’s mixing decent analysis with an attempt to be click bait. Instead of saying its a possibility he’s adds that they look slow etc from a small sample. The issue with saying bowman is bad against the pass over the past few years you also need to include his run grades which are still top shelf, and Saleh and company have said how much they want to stop the run – which Malcolm smith is no where near Bowman on run stuffing.

      Also the take that Hyde looked lost after seeing one OTA is a little silly as well. Hyde when healthy has made some terrible offensive schemes actually work ok from a rushing perspective. We’ll see when the pads come on but think it’ll be nice a 1,2 Hyde and Williams…

    2. Why do you assume that he’s going to be better than the pass-coverage train-wreck of 2015 & 2016. Add in the Achilles and further age degradation, why would we expect him to miraculously rebound? Especially as he struggles without pads on against a guy who is a lousy TE.

      1. Well Moses, you can’t, just like you can’t say he’s gonna be worse.

        I’m not debating stats here. I’m debating an article that insinuates that our best linebacker is cut bait. That’s asinine. What are his stats from 2013, 2014? Has he even been good? Or was he masked because Patrick Willis?

        Pardon my ignorance here because I don’t claim to be the football guru some do, but in the 4-3, cover 3 defense, when will Bowman be required to man up on TE’s and HB’s?

        1. This is one of the problems with the analysis. Its easier said that done to just “isolate” bowman all the time- the better offenses might but many weeks he’ll be ok on 1st and second downs. A lot of times the SAM linebacker covers the TE in the 4-3 under, so Bowman and they could possibly play zone a bit more in early downs to help mitigate his pass D.

          I’m not saying he’s a going to be outstanding, but I can’t see how it’ll make the team better by cutting him, and people are acting like Rueben Foster is a sure fire hall of famer. Injuries happen and we have a ton of cap space. Bow’s leadership and run stopping make it worthwhile.

    3. Matt Maiocco reported Bow had a good day today in pass coverage. He’s a reporter without an agenda of thrashing the best LB on the team.

  2. Grant …

    Just wondering…
    with all of the new faces, currently on the team,
    how many “leaders” are still around ?

    IMO .. whether or not Bo is a two-down player
    or even a single down player … his leadership
    is without question .. needed in that locker room .. and
    I doubt that fact is lost on Shanny and Lynch..

    What say you ?

  3. A second helping of good stuff, Grant. Weak schedule? They’re ranked 20th in strength of schedule, right behind the Bears. I’d be hesitant to give the 49ers a win over the Panthers if Bowman is covering McCaffrey or Samuel….

    1. Thanks. I think Cam Newton lacks the quick trigger to take advantage of choice routes and option routes from the slot or backfield.

      1. Newton’s leadership inspiration, and its impact during games ended when he made his business decision in the Super Bowl. He then further substantiated his lack of accountability during the post press conference. He followed that up by complaining about getting hit too much, and that he wasn’t having any fun. He peaked, got exposed, and is just a quarterback with no clothes….

  4. My sense from reading and listening to Grant is that he believes Bowman should be cut because of his coverage ability and his high cap hit. Grant has said that they should get rid of him this year and take the hit because they have the cap space. I haven’t seen Bowman in practice so, I won’t comment yet.

    However, it looks to me like there would be a huge dead cap hit if he were cut this year, and much less so next year. So if I’m understanding this correctly, the 49ers wouldn’t really save a meaningful amount of cap space by cutting him this year, but they would if they cut him next year. So, maybe he sticks around for another year?

    If anyone has more expertise in dead cap money, I’d like to hear their interpretation.

  5. Is there a chance they make ray ray the in the box safety? I think Reid is horrible and Tartt can’t get on the field. RR did play SS in college

  6. Will be looking forward to the next OTA report. Practice without limitations does not mean 100% back from the injury. I’m going to wait and see how Bowman progresses though the preseason.

  7. Will be interesting to see how Grant grades the OTA today. Maiacco reporting that Bowman had a really nice day in coverage and had a sack. That’s why you don’t come out with an idiotic article about someone in ONE OTA.

  8. Seems to me, SF does nothing with Bowman till after pre season games…. See him in live action first.
    If SF can generate some pass rush, it may take some coverage pressure off a Bowman.

  9. I have seen too many years of high level performance from Bowman to unceremoniously close out his career at this point. Clearly any injury at Bowman’s football age makes it increasingly difficult to recapture past moments of greatness. It is because of those superhuman flashes of skill and heart I refuse to write him off without seeing his performance first hand.

  10. Eastcoast9er

    You have no knowledge of Latin America or history. Stick to pruning.

    TomD’s Take:


    Hadn’t you heard ? Unfortunately, Seb was fired from his pruning job for cutting the perennials instead of the annuals.

    EastCoast9er says:
    June 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    The man is a gargantuan gasbag of malformed ideas and poor critical thinking. What’s worse is he believes he knows what he does not know. His knowledge of history is about as good as his knowledge of Vietnam.

    Brotha Tuna says:
    June 7, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Ignoring the troll won’t make him go away. It just might make him lonely.

    1. I remember that game. What was more impressive is that it was broken-field running, not getting behind some DB and going to the house. He had to make a lot of very good Rams defenders look like complete idiots.

    1. I remember, for a brief period, some people were saying Taylor was better of the two because he had superior broken-field running.

  11. The San Francisco 49ers completed OTAs on Thursday. All that remains of the offseason program is next week’s mandatory three-day minicamp.

    Cam Inman
    ✔ @CamInman Brian Hoyer had 2 passes intercepted on bobbles by Pierre Garcon & Carlos Hyde. 49ers starting QB hasn’t gone deep much but coaches love arm

  12. According to Pro Football Focus‘s scouting report on CJ Beathard, when adjusted for drops his completion percentage would have been 73.5 percent, the highest percentage difference (17.6 percent) among all NCAA quarterbacks in 2016:

  13. Some news from today’s OTA:

    1. Rashard Robinson didn’t practice which meant that Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson both got first-team reps.

    That helps understand the pecking order.

    4. Brian Hoyer’s first pass of the day was a 20-yard completion off of play action to Marquise Goodwin on a corner route toward the right sideline. Goodwin was able to keep his feet in bounds and hang onto the football despite Johnson’s best efforts to knock the ball free.

    Until Goodwin proves he’s an NFL WR, I’ll remain skeptical.

    6. Johnson grabbed the first of two interceptions for the defense. The ball was thrown behind its intended target, bounced off the receiver’s hands and into Johnson’s arms for the opportunistic takeaway. The other pick came from Malcolm Smith on a ball that bounced from a receiver’s hands, off of NaVorro Bowman’s helmet and ultimately over to Smith.

    The second one is hilarious.

    12. The defense ended practice with a flurry of sacks. Tank Carradine got the first, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner split the second and Chris Jones added a third.

    And how do the equities lie? Is it the line is that bad? The pass rush that good? The offense has yet to jell in a new system and it’s completely meaningless?


    On Williams, Turner said: “He has the tools, the qualities of other players who have worked well in the system. He’s hungry, he has the physical tools, he has the foot speed, the quickness, and when it comes down to it, the mental toughness.”

    “Still, Hyde has been running with the first-string offense and Turner says he’s like what he’s seen so far.”

    “The bottom line is that I’m happy with him right now,” Turner said. “I’m not saying I’m ready to cut him totally loose and stop coaching him. I’m going to be coaching him all the way up until game time.”

  15. Grant, I love Bow but you get to see more than us fans, are you really saying that Bowman is SO bad at pass coverage at this point they should forego his experience and leadership? Also, I get the feel that your not sold on the new regime yet but how is Jed’s approach different with Lynch/Shanahan as opposed to Jim H/Trent or Chip/Trent?

    1. Remember when we lost to the Giants in 2015? When Eli Manning completed the game-winning TD against Bowman (and went 10/10 with 2 TDs) and the won the game?

      Leadership and five bucks will buy you a latte at Starbucks. But it won’t stop mediocre QBs from chewing Bowman up in pass coverage. And his ‘leadership’ certainly didn’t seem to matter much last year when he was healthy and the 49ers defense was getting blown-out on the field.

      1. moses— I totally agree. The leadership card is often used by fans to justify keeping their favorite past their prime players on the roster. This would be especially true if the team was in a rebuilding mode and had a lot of young LB’s with potential to chose from. Let some leadership emerge from some of the younger players who will be on the team when it begins to gel.

  16. Looking forward to Grant’s “Good, Bad and Ugly.” I hope that Bowman didn’t bop him on the head and send him to the ER.

  17. Okay. Not the content, the delivery.

    This is a step back from yesterday. Look, you absolutely cannot say “um,” ever in this business. It would be far better for you to drop an F-bomb than to say uh. Get your voice down into your chest. Your up-and-down jiggly verbal presentation is hard on the years. Enunciate, relax, lose the stutter. Smooth out your delivery if you want to make a career in this biz. Also the guy introduced you at least twice as a beat writer for the P-D. If you are, get with it. If you are only a blogger, well that is a job that will be going away in the very near future, same as a linebacker that cannot cover. Content is much more important than opinion these days. D+ for today…

    1. I agree that Grant needs to eliminate the ‘uhs’.
      I am not going to be a defender of Grant if some one mentions a fault that can be corrected.
      However, I kinda like his delivery, and the content and insights are top notch. It did not help being on that phone. The tonal quality had much to be desired.
      I would give that interview a B-. He might not be mellifluous, but maybe I am used to his voice.

  18. I wish to propose a trade. The Niners should facilitate a trade with the Bears, since they have traded with them last draft, and have both benefited. The Niners should bundle 3 players, who individually would not garner 5th or 6th round picks individually, but together, may warrant a second round pick.
    The Niners should offer Bowman, Brooks and Vance MacDonald to the Bears for a conditional second round pick. If the Bears make the playoffs, they will additionally give up a 2019 third round pick.
    This would be favorable to the Bears because Fangio would want to improve their defense, and he is familiar with those 2 defenders. Vance would be an upgrade from Zach Miller who has a tendency to suffer foot injuries. Vance’s blocking might help Trubisky, or Glennon if he wins the starting job.
    Niners would garner another 2018 second round pick to have draft capital to get the 2018 QB they covet. They also would be creating space so they can poach players from playoff teams. They would also trade away players who were starters, so they do have worth, and the Niners can get something for them, instead of cutting them after TC and getting nothing.
    Bears, with 29 mil in projected cap space, could absorb their salaries, and possibly get at least 2 starters. It would be a win-win for both teams.

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