NFC Links: Gore, Cutler, Griffin, Sanchez

49ers‘ running back Frank Gore has seen a decline in his play this season, and his future in San Francisco is in question. Aside from his rookie season and injury-shortened 2010, Gore is on pace to post career lows in yards, attempts, touchdowns, yards per carry, and longest run. He has also been phased out of the passing game, with career lows in targets, catches, and receiving yards.

Gore will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and spoke to Eric Branch of regarding his future with the team. “If they want to bring me back, they will,” Gore said. “They’ll come to me in a respectful way. We’ll sit down, see what they want me to do. See what my role is and if I like it, I’ll sign. If I don’t, I’ll try to see what other teams think of me.”

Here are some other notes from around the NFC:

  • Joel Corry of the National Football Post takes a look at the financial implications that would take place if the Bears decided to trade Jay Cutler. Because of his contract, he writes the Bears would be unlikely to get much in return for the embattled quarterback, but writes that the Titans, Jets, Buccaneers, Rams and Texans could all have at least some interest in acquiring Cutler at the right price.
  • Despite some rumors that Washington would fire head coach Jay Gruden after only one season, the former Bengals’ offensive coordinator is confident that he will get a second season with the team, according to Conor Orr of“I feel good about my chances of coming back next year,” Gruden said. “I feel good about some of the core group of guys we have here and building a football team, and I think we can get this thing turned around a lot sooner than later if given the opportunity.”
  • Gruden returning is not a given, but after that the biggest question of Washington’s offseason is at the quarterback position. Ian Rapoport of would not be surprised to see Robert Griffin III back in Washington next season, noting that his salary is fully guaranteed for 2015 (via Twitter). He writes that Gruden wants to win, and Griffin could be his best option at quarterback (via Twitter).
  • With Nick Foles closer to being healthy each week and the Eagles still in the thick of the playoff race, Mark Sanchez needs to be better, writes Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While he writes that Sanchez is not concerned about his own stock, the team’s playoff chances are directly related to how well Sanchez plays. Whether Sanchez’s top priority is making the playoffs or getting a starting job in 2015, he needs to be better over these next two games.
  • The Panthers will not activate defensive end Frank Alexander for this weekend’s game against the Browns, reports Mike Garafolo of Fox sports 1 (via Twitter). Alexander came off of his suspension this week, after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Garafolo writes that the team is expected to activate him on Monday.


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