The Oakland Raiders and Navorro Bowman couldn’t agree a new deal and the Raiders moved on Friday by signing an even older linebacker, Derrick Johnson, to replace him.
The NFL Draft has passed. Most teams have filled their linebacker depth charts. Bowman is dangerously at risk of winding up without a team when training camp kicks off in July.
There is a couple of teams that still needs help at inside linebacker:
The Steelers are a perfect fit for Bowman. They desperately needed inside linebacker help in the Draft, but elected to focus on offense and the secondary with their selections.
The Steelers play a 3-4 scheme, one that is declining in popularity but is the system where Bowman made his name with the 49ers. They have around $6 million in cap space remaining after releasing safety J.J. Wilcox. They could give Bowman a modest but competitive one-year deal.
The Cowboys needed help at linebacker that’s way the boys drafted two linebackers this year, Leighton Vander Esch in the 1st round and Chris Covington in the 6th round.
Anthony Hitchens left in free agency, and the Cowboys have Jaylon Smith trying to become a full-time starter, but no one is sure if he can get there and then there is the Sean Lee injury situation that is always a worry. One year contract with a veteran linebacker who can still produce on the field would be an ideal pickup for the Cowboys alongside the young talents and Sean Lee.
The Cowboys tried to sign Bowman mid-season last year after the 49ers released him. This offseason they could actually make it happen.
Last season, the Redskins ranked dead last in total run defense with just over 134 yards allowed per game. While they will most likely look to solve this issue through the draft, Bowman would instantly add some much need physicality up front. Bringing him in to pair with Ryan Kerrigan and a young rookie would be a smart decision if the team wants to compete for a division title and more.
Free agent NaVorro Bowman, who played with the 49ers and Raiders last year, could be a good fit alongside those two. He turns 30-years-old four-time all-pro is not in his prime anymore, but he still put up 127 tackles in 15 games last season.
New York Jets
The Jets are in the midst of a rebuild, and while youth will be served in Gotham, some veteran leadership would go a long way. Bowman is maybe a veteran linebacker, but he will be a solid contributor who can bring along the younger talent such as Darron Lee and Jamal Adams. Head coach Todd Bowles is also a defensive mind, making this a nice fit.