Gary Kubiak says Paxton Lynch is “really stepping up.” Hmmm, is this an opening to get Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian out of the way?
It wasn’t all that long ago that Jay Novacek Jersey Kubiak was adamant about Siemian’s chances of starting and Lynch was locked in as an understudy to the top two quarterbacks. But it’s hard to keep a first-round pick on the bench for long, especially when your other options are Sanchez and Siemian.
MASON IS MISSING: Rams RB Tre Mason is missing. The Jaylon Smith Jersey Tre Mason saga has come to a somber point.
RIVALRY GONE BAD: Ben Roethlisberger thinks the Bengals-Steelers rivalry has gone too far. Concussions. Penalties. Trash talk. The Steelers quarterback is right. The rivalry between the Bengals and the Steelers has descended into a dark place, relegating the actual games to a lower status.
DON’T TRASH TEDDY: Mike Zimmer has the perfect response to Teddy Bridgewater’s critics. For some reason, it’s really hard for a lot of the media to believe in Bridgewater. The Vikings head coach has an answer for those fools.
Due to the fact Bowman had so much time remaining on his contract and is two years removed from an ACL tear, this news is a major surprise. But it’s clear new head coach Chip Kelly intends to build the team around him. Bowman has emerged as one of the best inside linebackers in the league over the last few years, averaging 147.5 tackles per season since 2011.
“Over the last six years, NaVorro has become a cornerstone of our organization and securing his future in the Bay Area was a priority for us,” Baalke said. “The perseverance he displayed while overcoming adversity and returning to his All-Pro form provides a great example of what can be accomplished through hard work and self-belief. This contract extension reaffirms our core philosophy of rewarding our own players and we are thrilled to know NaVorro will play his entire career with the 49ers.”
Bowman, 28, has been one of the few bright spots on a floundering 49ers squad. Despite the team’s recent struggles, he thanked his teammates and coaches after signing the deal. “My teammates and coaches have meant so much to me throughout my career and I thank them for helping me become the player I am today,” he said.
Some of Bowman’s teammates on a once-proud defense, including Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald and Ahmad Brooks, have been in the headlines for their transgressions off the field more than their on-field play as of late. San Francisco released Smith in 2015 after he was arrested for his third DUI and cut bait with McDonald amidst sexual assault allegations in 2014. The club has held onto Brooks despite his sexual assault charge from last summer.
There have been several high-profile retirements around Bowman, too. Veteran linebacker Patrick Willis and defensive lineman Justin Smith called it quits as well as star rookie linebacker Chris Borland, who cited concerns about brain damage as his reasoning for walking away.