Former 49ers great Frank Gore is entering free agency for the second consecutive year following a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. After three years in Indianapolis averaging less than four yards per carry, Gore bounced back this past season in Miami. He came in to compete with Kenyan Drake, and supplanted the youngster on the depth chart. He ended the season on injured reserve, but not before rushing for 722 yards over 14 games and averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Gore hits the market with plans on playing another year, according to Dolphins reporter Barry Jackson. However, Jackson is also reporting the Dolphins are uncertain if they want him back for another year. Gore returned home to South Florida this past year and got a chance to spend more time during the football season with his son, who is attending high school nearby.
Gore clearly has something left in the tank, but what kind of role might be out there for him? I know plenty of 49ers fans would love to see him back in red and gold, but I don’t expect Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch to add him to what is already a potentially deep running back room. I suspect when Gore retires he might sign a one-day contract to close out his career, but for now, he’ll be looking for a real playing contract.
Gore ranks fourth in all-time rushing yards, 521 back of Barry Sanders. I think he wants to return more to win a Super Bowl than move up the rushing leaderboard, so we’ll see if he can find a contender looking for a spark plug to compete for an opportunity. He’s made it clear he’s willing to compete for his next opportunity, and I have to think there are teams out there with shaky run games that could use his vision and leadership.