According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, longtime San Francisco 49ers’ running back Frank Gore is interested in signing with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent after the season. The 10-year veteran running back just played out the final year of his contract, which paid him $6.45MM in 2014.
However, if it were up to Gore, his 1st choice would be remaining with the San Francisco 49ers:
"“One player who will be intently watching the weekend’s Colts-Broncos game? Running back Frank Gore. His top choice is to remain with the 49ers. But he’s also curious about playing with Andrew Luck and wonders whether a quality tailback is the missing element in Indianapolis’ offense.”"
While Gore is getting up there in years for a running back (he’ll turn 32 this May), he’s still been incredibly durable and consistently productive throughout his NFL career. This season he rushed for 1,106 rushing yards on 255 carries (4.3 ypc) for 4 touchdowns.
December 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) jogs off the field after the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi
As a former 3rd round pick of the 49ers in 2005 out of the University of Miami (FL), Gore is the 49ers franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 11,073 career rushing yards, all in red and gold. He’s a beloved veteran player in San Francisco, much like Reggie Wayne is to the Colts’ franchise.
It’s worth noting that the Colts could clearly use an upgrade in their backfield too with Ahmad Bradshaw‘s (free agent) brittle health, Trent Richardson‘s ineffectiveness, and Dan “Boom” Herron best served as part of a platoon at running back. Gore could give the Colts an element in their offense, that they simply haven’t had without a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw.
However, while he could become a revelation like Eddie Lacy has been for the Green Bay Packers, giving the Colts’ high profile passing offense a unique smashmouth element, he could also become a bit of free agent disappointment like Steven Jackson has recently been with the Atlanta Falcons.
After a great career with the St. Louis Rams, the then-29 year old acclaimed running back signed a lucrative contract with the Falcons in the 2013 offseason to provide a new power rushing game to their offensive attack. Yet in two seasons in Atlanta, Jackson has yet to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season. He’s rushed for a combined 1,250 yards on 347 carries, resulting in a mediocre 3.6 yards per carry.
While Gore’s best years are likely behind him, he could still be a productive running back for the Colts and upgrade the position next season. However, there’s tremendous risk in investing a lot of money and cap space in a running back on the wrong side of 30 with a lot of mileage on his tires even if they’ve been as productive and durable as Gore has proven to be.
Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) walks off of the field after their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Georgia Dome. The Steelers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports