Four time All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman says he feels disrespected by those around the NFL for not considering him one of the best 'backers in the league.
Per the San Francisco Chronicle, the 29-year-old Bowman is recovering from a brutal achilles tendon injury from last season and, before that, a shredded knee from 2014. Some of the wounds still show, while some are "invisible."
“To not be mentioned as one of the best since I entered the league makes me feel a certain way sometimes,” Bowman said. “… For the respect not to be presented and given, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bowman also called himself the best linebacker in the entire NFL.
“A healthy Bowman is still the best linebacker in the NFL,” he said. “What else has stopped me? A knee and an Achilles. What else? What else can you say about me?”
The Chronicle argues that Luke Kuechly, 26, is widely viewed as the NFL’s best inside linebacker.
"And now, with 49ers rookie Reuben Foster resembling a young Bowman this summer, there is talk that Bowman, 29, might not be the best inside linebacker even on his own team.
"As with many accomplished athletes, Bowman, a third-round pick from Penn State in 2010, has long been fueled by slights, real or imagined. And those feelings have only intensified as he has dealt with two major injuries and the speculation that they’ve stolen his explosiveness.
“They always want fresh and new. They had a group of linebackers come out” in the recent draft, Bowman said. “Even Reuben, being on our team. It’s still like, ‘He’s this. He’s that. NaVorro Bowman should be traded.’ Why should I be traded? I’ve done my job every year that I’ve been able to do my job.”