Before they surprisingly released linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Friday, the San Francisco 49ers agreed to trade the longtime veteran to the New Orleans Saints for a seventh-round draft pick, league sources told ESPN.

But rather than adding Bowman to cap a week in which they traded running back Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals for a sixth-round pick, the Saints learned the veteran linebacker preferred to be a free agent and talk to all teams before deciding on one.

So as a reward for Bowman's service, San Francisco acquiesced and released the linebacker.

Now that Bowman is a free agent, "lots of teams [are] trying to sign" him, according to one source, and it will take "a few days" for him to make a decision.