Jets RB Frank Gore Says He'll Rejoin 49ers When It's Time to Retire

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2020

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

New York Jets running back Frank Gore said he'll sign a ceremonial one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers when he's ready to retire.

Gore, who spent the first decade of his NFL career with the Niners after they selected him in the third round of the 2005 draft, told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area he's already discussed the plan with team CEO Jed York.

"We talked about that," he said. "I got to. That's the team that gave me the opportunity to do something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, play NFL ball. I was there for 10 great years. Been on bad teams and been on great teams. I love it out there."

It's rare to see a 37-year-old running back still playing, but the accomplishment is even more astounding for Gore because of his injury history at the University of Miami, which included a pair of torn ACLs.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection said he'll always remember that San Francisco was the team to take a chance on him.

"You got to understand, coming out of college: two ACLs, two shoulders," Gore told Maiocco. "Everybody wrote me off and wouldn't draft me. They took the chance."

The Miami native also gave a shout out to Niners fans.

"The fans were great," Gore said. "When we were bad, they were there. When we got good, it got crazier. It was great out there. I miss it out there, for real."

He left San Francisco as a free agent in 2015 to join the Indianapolis Colts. He's since made stops with the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Jets.

Yet, despite being in the twilight of his career, he was announced as a starter for New York ahead of Sunday's game, when the Niners will visit MetLife Stadium, after a hamstring injury to Le'Veon Bell.

Gore is no longer the high-impact player he was during his time with the 49ers. That said, he's a reliable veteran who can handle punishing carries between the tackles while protecting the football. He's recorded just a single fumble since the start of the 2018 season.

That's why he's continued to receive opportunities over younger players as he approaches age 40, and he's yet to say when he's planning to retire.

Whenever that day does arrive, he'll be wearing Niners red and gold to say goodbye.