How much will it take to bring back NaVorro Bowman?
This one might be the most important personnel question the Raiders will have to ask themselves this offseason: How much are the Raiders willing to pay inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman to bring him back on a new contract? The guy was great for the Raiders after coming aboard mid-season after the San Francisco 49ers released him.
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However, Bowman will be 30 years old in 2018 and is on the back-nine of his illustrious NFL career. The former All-Pro with the 49ers is an excellent on-field mentor to the young Raiders linebackers, including Cory James, Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow. That being said, Bowman does play a premium position at middle linebacker and could get overpaid on the open market this spring.
Bowman has likely one more significant contract left in his playing career. Are the Raiders willing to pay a premium to bring him back? A new contract will cost more than the $2.6 million he grabbed as a free agent from the Raiders in October. Hopefully the Raiders can prioritize bringing him back for another season.
If the Raiders don’t want to overspend on an aging veteran at linebacker in Bowman, then that would meant the Raiders are poised to take a linebacker early in the draft. Should he come back, that might mean the Raiders go with a defensive back or a defensive linemen in the first-round. Bowman’s free agency will decide the Raiders’ game plan at the top of the 2018 NFL Draft.