Ageless running back Frank Gore has decided to call it a career. In an interview on TheSFNiners podcast (video link), Gore said that, within the next several months, he will sign a one-day contract with the 49ers and officially announce his retirement.
San Francisco selected Gore in the third round of the 2005 draft, and though he appeared in 14 games in his rookie campaign, he started just one, operating as part of an RB tandem with Kevan Barlow. Prior to the 2006 season, the Niners traded Barlow to the Jets, thereby clearing the way for Gore to take over as a full-time starter, a role he held for nine seasons in the Bay Area.
During that time, the Miami product established himself as one of the best, and most consistent, backs in the league. He racked up all five of his Pro Bowl nominations, and he averaged over 1,160 yards per season on a robust 4.5 yards-per-carry average. That stretch included eight seasons of 1,000+ yards, and the only year in which he did not hit that benchmark was 2010, when he appeared in just 11 games due to a hip injury.
Gore, who will turn 39 in May, was also an effective receiver out of the backfield, particularly in the early days of his career. From 2006-10, he averaged 51 catches and just over 430 receiving yards per season, which, when added to his rushing output, made him a true dual threat. The 2006 season was especially productive, as he generated 2,180 all-purpose yards and nine total TDs. Though he was never a prolific touchdown producer — just one season of 10 or more combined rushing and receiving scores — he did find paydirt an even 100 times in his regular season career (81 on the ground, 18 through the air, and one fumble recovery).
After Gore’s tremendous run with the 49ers — he is now the franchise’s all-team leading rusher by a wide margin — he began the second chapter of his career by signing a three-year, $12MM deal with the Colts in March 2015. He was still productive during his three years in Indianapolis, as he did not miss a game and averaged nearly 1,000 rushing yards per season to go along with 263 rushing yards per year, but he did not post a YPC rate above 3.9.
Gore ended his career with a tour of the AFC East, hooking on with the Dolphins in 2018, the Bills in 2019, and the Jets in 2020. The 2018 season in Miami was a bit of a throwback, as he played in 14 games (all starts) and rushed for 722 yards on 156 totes, good for a 4.6 YPC average.
Despite all of his individual successes, Gore was not fortunate enough to play for many championship contenders. In 16 NFL seasons, he suited up for just four playoff outfits (the 49ers from 2011-13 and the Bills in 2019). He did get to participate in Super Bowl XLVII with San Francisco at the end of the 2012 season, but the Niners came out on the losing end of that contest. Gore at least held up his end of the bargain, rushing for 319 yards and four TDs on 63 carries in the team’s three-game postseason run.
In all, Gore rushed for exactly 16,000 yards in the regular season, which gives him a beautifully round 1,000 yards/season average and positions him behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton on the all-time list. He supported that total with a 4.3 YPC mark, thereby demonstrating that his production was not driven just by his remarkable longevity.
Per Spotrac, Gore earned over $63MM in his playing career, and he indicated on the podcast that he hopes to move into a front office role. He said, “I told [49ers CEO] Jed York that I always wanted to be a Niner, so we’re working on [the one-day contract] right now, and then we’re going to also sit down with me and my agent to talk about me working in the front office. I love looking at talent, and I love evaluating talent, and I love ball.”
We here at PFR congratulate Gore on a terrific career — which may ultimately end with a Hall of Fame bust in Canton — and wish him all the best in his front office endeavors.
28 comments on “Frank Gore To Retire”
Hall Of Fame!!!
I am not sure if he was that good, but he was good! He certainly had longevity and was always productive
One of four RBs in NFL history with 15,000 career rushing yards, joining Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders.
One second thought, he will get in!!!!!
Gosh Lefty, I would think HOF for sure.
16000 yards….lol. He’ll be first ballot.
To say he’s anything other than a sure fire Hall of Famer is just insane bro.
Definitely Hall of Fame
Exactly 16,000 rushing yards is pretty cool to go out on, he’s also only 15 yards away from 20,000 rushing/receiving yards.
And 1 away from 100 Rushing & Receiving TDs.
Heck of a career! Enjoy retirement sir, you’ve earned it.
congrats! amazing carrer
Totally agree. Who would have thought he’d be so productive? Good back at the U, but o certainly didn’t expect that production. Great career.
He’s only 15 yards away from 20,000 rushing+receiving yards.
First round talent, but injury dropped him to the third. One of the all time draft bargains.
Getting a HOF RB in the third because of an injury…only to have him become a basically indestructible workhorse for a decade and then some…is a nice outcome.
Who doesn’t have love for Frank Gore?!
1st ballot HOF, no question!
Congrats big guy
I hope I’m not the only one who got a bit teary-eyed at hearing this news.
Hall of Fame is either your insane peaked numbers or aggregate. I don’t care what people try to argue. He has all time aggregated numbers. I’m not saying he’s a first ballot guy but if he’s not in the Hall, it’s kind of an insult.
Barry’s like ay lmao
FOREVER 49er !!
and as great of a player as he was (I agree he’s a first ballot HOF) he was an even better man. Theres not enough men like him in the NFL for sure
Super bowl vs Ravens. 34-29 Ravens late fourth. Gore averaging 6 yards/attempt. 1st and goal at 7. Lamichael James carries for 2 yards. 2nd and goal from 5. THREE STRAIGHT INCOMPLETIONS Kaepernick to Crabtree. THREE. Gore 6yds/carry for the game. And oh, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis, and Delaney Walker also available. Why did Gore not win a Super Bowl? THREE STRAIGHT INCOMPLETIONS TO CRABTREE….yeah, still bitter.
I know one of his goals was to play long enough that his son Frank Gore Jr, could play in the NFL a with him.
So he goes into the HOF as a Bill, right?
If Gore goes in as a Bill then Belichick would have to go in as a Frank. Life is already complicated enough.
Enjoy retirement. True warrior. Dude was the epitome of determination and perseverance. First ballot Hall of Famer all day.