According to Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Matt Miller, the Indianapolis Colts are a “shoe-in” to land soon-to-be 49ers free agent running back Frank Gore. Miller further commented that “there is no way” he ends back with the 49ers, and specifically mentioned that, “Both Chuck Pagano and Rob Chudzinski, with his University of Miami connection, want him”.
Dec 20, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Levi
The 10-year running back is coming off yet another productive season, in which he rushed for 1,106 rushing yards on 255 carries and 4 rushing touchdowns. However, set to turn 32 years old in May, the 49ers are reportedly opting to go with the younger and cheaper Carlos Hyde at starting running back moving forward.
Earlier, we noted that Frank Gore had interest in playing for the Colts via a report from Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. With Trent Richardson being a disappointment and veteran Ahmad Bradshaw always seemingly brittle, the Colts could clearly use an upgrade at the starting running back position for next season.
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. Gore has only missed 1 start for the 49ers in the past 4 seasons and has rushed for over 1,000 rushing yards in 8 of his 10 seasons in the NFL.
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.
All things considered, Gore looks like he should have at least 2-3 productive seasons left as a high-end starting caliber NFL running back. While his numbers should decline given his advancing age and increased wear-and-tear, it looks to me that on a short-term 1 or 2-year deal, he could be an ideal fit to solve the Colts running back woes on a contending football team for the immediate future.
Having already looked at whether the Colts should pursue Frank Gore, it looks as though he’s still in line to have another 2-3 high caliber starting seasons in him compared to other successful 32 year old running backs: