Bowman seemed to have a free agent tour set up for this week, including a scheduled visit with the Cowboys. However, the Raiders did not let him leave without a deal. Currently in a four-game skid, the veteran Mike linebacker could help to fortify the front seven and turn their season around. Bowman, apparently, was not deterred by their recent slump.
Bowman was considered to be a world-class player not long ago and he was understandably frustrated by the Niners’ decision to rotate him with other middle linebackers this season. The team also drafted his eventual replacement in Reuben Foster, so it was clear that the two would be parting ways at some point. The Niners tried to trade Bowman and even had a potential deal lined up with the Saints, but they granted him his release when he requested that he be able to test free agency instead.
Leaving San Francisco was bittersweet for Bowman, but the lack of offset language in his contract probably made it a bit easier to swallow. Had their been offset language in his contract, the Niners would have been able to collect on whatever new salary Bowman signed for. In those cases, veteran players often wind up settling for the minimum salary (and, in a sense, playing for free) since the money just goes to the old team. However, Bowman was able to double-dip here, meaning that he has tacked $3MM on to his base pay for 2017. If he performs at a high level the rest of the way, he could collect on a lucrative free agent deal after the season.
The Raiders, currently at 2-4, have the second worst defensive DVOA in the league. They have allowed 117.2 rushing yards per contest and 233 passing yards per game.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.