San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore earned a sizable roster bonus on Sunday, in what was his 13th active game this season. According to Field Yates, Gore earned a $750,000 bonus. Gore was due $2.75 million in bonuses in 2014. The remaining $2 million is broken down into 16 game-day roster bonuses of $125,000. He has been active the first 13 games, and barring the unforeseen, will be active the final three.
Gore finished the game with 63 yards on 12 carries. I am not entirely sure why the 49ers did not run the ball more, although to be fair, it sounds like Jim Harbaugh wasn't sure either. He was asked if he could
Gore enters free agency after this season, and his future with the 49ers is anybody's guess. Earlier this season I would have guessed it was a virtual certainty. As the season winds down, I am less certain what his future holds. After all, the 49ers will head into the offseason with Carlos Hyde and Kendall Hunter under contract. Hyde has shown some things at times, but with Hunter a huge question mark due to injury, is that enough to move on from Gore?
The free agency market actually has some quality talent available, but it remains to be seen what the cost will be given how running backs as a whole seem to lose value each year. Guys like DeMarco Murray, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Ryan Mathews, Knowshon Moreno, Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller and so many others are potentially hitting the market. This lengthy group of options could push down the cost of a mid-20s veteran, or it could very well mean the 49ers bring back Gore at a fairly minimal one or two-year deal.
And of course, there is the draft. Running backs have been sliding down draft boards in recent years, so there likely would not be a huge sense of urgency at the top. There are numerous options, including Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), Todd Gurley (Georgia), Tevin Coleman (Indiana), Ameer Andullah (Nebraska), T.J. Yeldon (Alabama), Duke Johnson (Miami), Mike Davis (South Carolina), and Karlos Williams (Florida State). There will be plenty of options to consider in the offseason.