As he nears unrestricted free agency, veteran running back Frank Gore appears to be seeking about $4MM per year on a new deal, says Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. According to La Canfora, people around the NFL believe that Gore’s best chance – and perhaps his only chance – to land that kind of money is if he returns to the 49ers.
Gore and the Niners have both publicly expressed interest in continuing their relationship, though an Instagram post from the running back earlier this week suggested he was skeptical that the team’s front office is as eager as he is to work out a new deal. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report indicated earlier this week that Gore seems unlikely to re-sign with San Francisco — Miller identified the Colts, the Dolphins, and Washington as probable suitors for the 31-year-old.
Although Gore will turn 32 in May and has racked up nearly 2,500 career carries, a $4MM annual salary doesn’t seem unreasonable for a back who has rushed for more than 1,100 yards in each of the last four years, and has never averaged less than 4.1 yards per carry in a season. For comparison’s sake, Chris Johnson inked a two-year, $8MM deal with the Jets last winter, though that contract admittedly didn’t work out too well for the team. For Gore, a deal worth $4MM per year would be a step down from his current pact, which averages $6MM+.
We heard earlier today that running back Shane Vereen, who is younger than Gore but has never produced like the longtime Niner – will aim for $5MM per year. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both backs settle for contracts in the range of $3-3.5MM annually.