Frank Gore: Should The 49ers Bring Him Back?

The 49ers have a choice to make this offseason: whether or not to bring back their franchise all-time leading rusher, Frank Gore. To me, this decision is a fairly easy one. However, as it is with most things in life, it will come down to money.

This offseason has already been one loaded with change for the 49ers. They basically have a completely new coaching staff and will most likely be facing more roster turnover than they’ve experienced in recent years. What they need now is a strong presence on and off the field. And one of the most well respected guys in the 49ers locker room is Frank Gore. While his play on the field has started to decline a little bit recently, he’s still very capable and can teach young guys like Kendall Hunter and Carlos Hyde a few things.

Even though Gore is one of the most important players on the roster, this is still a business. General Managers can’t make decisions based on how well liked a player is by the fan base or because a player is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. This is a “what have you done for me lately” league and it always comes down to money. Gore is set to be a free agent this offseason and the 49ers don’t have a ton of cap space. The 49ers will obviously try bringing him back on an extremely cap friendly deal but if Gore wants more money or more years than the 49ers brass thinks he deserves there’s a good chance he can walk. While I believe the 49ers should make a strong effort to bring him back, I don’t think they should handicap their salary cap situation just to bring him back.

As far as on the field performance and locker room contributions go, it’s not a hard decision about whether the 49ers should bring Gore back or not. What makes it difficult is the contract situation. If the 49ers and Frank Gore are on different pages about where the money should be, we could see this situation deteriorate very quickly. And for the record, Gore has made it known that he wants to be a 49er for life and I think he ends up taking a cap friendly deal to stay on for another season. Gore wants to make one final Super Bowl run with this team, which isn’t out of the question with the talent they have on this roster.

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