I know, it seems sacrilegious, ridiculous, absurd, etc. Hear me out: Gore is 28.M any, though not all, running backs start to show decline around this age. Even if he didn't show a marked dropoff, he wants an extension that would keep in him in San Francisco well into his 30s. Related to the age issue (granted, 28 isn't old), is his injury history. He's played 14, 16, 15, 14, 14, and 11 games (in order of season) in his 6 seasons in the league. Granted, perhaps if they gave Dixon and Hunter more carries this and next year, this could extend Gore's health and keep him fresh. But, we can't ignore that he is injury prone. Dixon and Hunter, I think, can fill the gap left by Gore if he was traded. Not saying they would equal his production, but I think it would be enough. They would make the team younger, too. They could get an impact player in exchange for him, or get a 1st and 2nd (or 3rd) rounder in next year's draft. They would free up even more cap space. They could bring in a veteran running back for depth. They might be able to trade him to a Super Bowl contender who gladly part with high draft picks if it meant them reaching/winning the Super Bowl. Perhaps they could coax a crappy team to give up what would be a lottery pick, but I think it would make more sense to trade him to a playoff team.
I could be flat wrong; Gore could play all 16 games this and next year, and put up great numbers. But, if we're thinking long-term, I think it makes sense for management to at least put the feelers out to see what they can get for Gore. I'm a loyal guy when it comes to my teams and their players, but I'm also so sick of losing that it wouldn't kill me to see Gore traded if it meant getting a great player or picks in return...and that translated into a 5+ year playoff run.