NaVorro Bowman makes deal with Raiders to stay in Bay Area

NaVorro Bowman said goodbye to the only NFL team he’s ever played for before the weekend. On Monday, he signed a contract to ensure he won’t have to move his family.

The former 49ers linebacker agreed to a contract with the Oakland Raiders three days after being cut. The deal is worth $3 million for one year, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Both Bay Area teams will pay Bowman as he’s still owed by the Niners.

Oakland demonstrated a need for healthy linebackers on Sunday, when the Los Angeles Chargers attacked the middle of the Raiders defense frequently and with great success. Running back Melvin Gordon had 150 all purpose yards, including nine catches out of the backfield.

Basically, it showed that the they’re extremely thin at the position with regular starter Marquel Lee forced to miss time due to an injury.

Whether Bowman can address those deficiencies remains to be seen. The 49ers were moving away from him because the coaching staff determined he had lost a step. So, it would be a mistake to expect him to solve all of the Raiders’ issues in coverage — especially guarding tight ends, which the linebacker struggled to do through the 49ers’ first five games.

The move represents a low-cost way to address a position that has been problematic for the Raiders. It never hurts to add a sure-tackling veteran — especially when you are trying to salvage a season that is significantly under-delivering on expectations. But, don’t expect the Bowman of old to rescue the Silver and Black.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

Jacob C. Palmer
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Jacob C. Palmer

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