With the recent news that Marcus Lattimore is coming along at a brisk pace and that he would be fine with sitting out this season, we are probably going to start reading people wondering about Frank Gore's future with the 49ers. The cold hard fact about RBs' aging curve has slipped into common knowledge. It's almost passé, now, to shrug off a RB once he hits 30 years old.
And that's the prudent thing, really. The reason the 30-year-old barrier is so passé is because, by and large, it's pretty much spot. It's uncanny, how spot on. So, yes, if I were a purely objective dude, the smart money would be on diminished production from Frank Gore as soon as next season (if not this upcoming season).
Or would that be smart money? I do think there are a few reasons why Gore can continue producing at a high rate. He has a better run blocking o-line now than he ever has in his career; the supporting cast surrounding him is likewise improved; heck, now that Colin Kaepernick is a thing, teams won't be able to stack the box. This could be huge for Frank. So could the diminished carries.
Maybe this is a fan boy talking. Maybe. I've been readily upfront with the fact that I have always considered Frank to be my favorite 49er. I'm biased.
And I can't lie - I'm intrigued by the Marcus Lattimore. I've really only read good things about him, sans knee injury. He's a team player (like Frank), a hard runner (like Frank), and an elusive guy (like Frank). It sure seems like we have an idea of what a good RB looks like. Lattimore is the heir apparent to Frank.
But, if Frank can keep producing at a high level, then Lattimore should wait. Frank has already proven his ability to carry the offense. That likely earns him the right to see out his contract.