The NFL has entered the free agent negotiation period, which means San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is free to speak with other teams through his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Offers technically cannot be made, but negotiations can happen. I'm not entirely sure how you negotiate a contract without offers and counter-offers, but this is also a period referred to as "legal tampering", so logical is not exactly in play.
On Thursday, Ann Killion had a chance to speak with 49ers CEO Jed York about a variety of topics. One involved Gore's future, and he had this to say:
"We want him back. I think he wants to be here. I know he wants to be here. And I think we'll figure out a way to do it. We'll definitely try. I think we'll figure out a way. That's my feeling."
This is not exactly a shocking revelation, and really it is sort of an extension of what Trent Baalke has said all along. Baalke has never said he thinks something will get done, but he has said both sides would like to make something happen. We have heard the Indianapolis Colts might be interested in Gore, but nothing specific has been mentioned.
There have been reports the 49ers are interested in running back C.J. Spiller. Personally, I think his asking price will be out of the 49ers range, but the 49ers have a few days to figure out what that market might be like.
I do find it a little amusing that York had no idea what was up the Jerome Simpson signing, but has his thoughts on Gore. In reality, it is not a huge contradiction, but it does provide that impression. York was asked in the same conversation about the team's decision to sign oft-troubled wide receiver Jerome Simpson. He said he did not know what the thinking was behind the signing, effectively seeming to throw Trent Baalke under the bus to some extent.
I am not surprised he would in turn say the above comments about Frank Gore. Simpson is a random free agent addition, while Gore is one of the greatest players in franchise history. And I'd imagine York knows fans would like to hear the team hopes to have him back. But as with anything he says these days, it is easy to interpret comments in another fashion.