Frank Gore Doesn't Want to Retire If Jets Go 0-16: 'I Can't Go out Like That'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

New York Jets running back Frank Gore (21) rushes with the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, November 22, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)
Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

If the New York Jets want Frank Gore to come back in 2021, the path is pretty simple: keep losing.

The running back spoke to reporters after Sunday's 34-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, saying he can't retire if the team goes 0-16. The Jets are currently 0-10.

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"I can't go out 0-16" https://t.co/GtKdTExHvK

"You don't want to go 0-16, especially if this is my last year," Gore said. "I can't go out like that. Hopefully, we can get one. And I can't wait until we get it. I'll be so happy. If it is my last year, I can't say I'm going out 0-16."

Gore has served as the team's starting running back in nine games this season, recording 505 total yards (447 rushing, 58 receiving) to put himself on pace for his most productive campaign since 2017. However, he's only averaged 3.6 yards per carry with a long of just 15 yardsunderstandable for a 37-year-old who likely never envisioned this level of workload after signing with the Jets this offseason.

Gore said the losing, combined with his age, has made this one of the tougher seasons of his 16-year NFL career.

"Yeah, I'd say it's tough, because it's the stage of my career," Gore said. "I was younger in San Fran, and I always felt like, 'I got time, I got time.' Now, I don't know if I'm going to play next year and ... I don't know.

"You just never know. I've got to be real with myself, how teams think about my age. They might not want a 38-year-old running back on the team. It's tough because I don't know about next year."

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Gore has been known as one of the most exemplary teammates in the NFL throughout his career, but his age will of course play a factor in teams' interest.

He, Larry Fitzgerald and Jason Witten are the oldest running back, wideout and tight end, respectively. While Fitzgerald will seemingly be able to play for the Cardinals as long as he wants, Gore is on his fourth team in as many seasons. With the running back position trending younger and younger and the Jets likely heading for a regime change, Gore may have to wait deep into next summer to find a new team if he wants to continue playing.

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