An otherwise slow day picked up some steam this morning with Mike Lombardi’s report that the San Francisco 49ers had put NaVorro Bowman on the trade block. The 49ers hastily issued a statement denying that were shopping the linebacker. Mike Lombardi tweeted that he stood by his report, and that’s where we’re at as the day nears its end.
Whether or not the report is entirely true, partially true, or completely wrong, it does raise a question. As the 49ers look to rebuild from hopefully hitting rock bottom the past two years, how many people are safe at this point? We’ve been talking about roster locks, but this is going beyond that to some extent, but this is something a little different.
When we first wrote about Lombardi’s statement, some people were quick to shout it down. Bowman is one of the leaders of this team’s defense, and while he is coming off a bad leg injury, he had rebounded well from his 2014 knee injury. We don’t know how he’ll look following the Achilles injury, but reports have been positive.
As the team looks to rebuild, do you view Bowman as essential to turning this thing around? Is Joe Staley essentially on the offensive side of the ball? Is Jimmie Ward essential to the secondary? All three are going to be important parts of this rebuilding process, but would they be described as essential?
I got this story idea from our friends at Field Gulls. They suggested Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, and Richard Sherman were among the most “essential” to the Seahawks continued success. It’s easier to declare certain players essential when you’re competing for playoff opportunities each year.
The 49ers are coming off a 2-14 season, and are in the midst of rebuilding the roster. They have some players that could play critical roles in the early stages of this process. Bowman, Staley, and Ward are among the players that will be leaned on this year. Does that make them “essential” in a different manner?