Frank Gore, Running Back
This wouldn’t necessarily be considered a popular cut by new Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who’s being paid to build a Super Bowl contending team though–not campaign for President.
Specifically, Colts running back Frank Gore has always been widely respected by his teammates, locker rooms, and in league circles and is coming off a pretty productive season in which the 33 year old eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for Indianapolis with 1,025 total rushing yards–while averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
That being said, the list of 34 year old starting running backs who managed to be productive rushers is very, very short (i.e. former greats Marcus Allen and Emmitt Smith).
It doesn’t mean that Gore can’t defy father time again, but at the same time, if the Colts draft a young running back in the early-mid rounds of this year’s NFL Draft, it raises the question of whether Gore–for all of his veteran leadership, toughness, and solid production, could be expendable.
It’s also worth noting that Gore, himself, could want one last opportunity to play for a contending team, whereas the Colts are probably at least a season away from seriously competing again–although winning the AFC South appears to be in reach.
Cutting Gore would save the Colts $3.5 million in cap space next season, but my calculated guess is that Indianapolis will select a running back in the early-mid rounds of this year’s NFL Draft to groom behind Gore for a season–maybe with a chance to even win the starting job outright.