Frank Gore Open to Returning for 17th NFL Season 'In the Right Circumstance'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2021

New York Jets' Frank Gore is evaluated by medical staff during the first half an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New York Jets running back Frank Gore, who will be a free agent in March, said Tuesday he is "open" to playing again in the 2021 season. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Gore said he would return "in the right circumstance." The veteran rushed for 653 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. He started 14 games after the release of Le'Veon Bell.

Gore turns 38 in May and has played in 241 career games, the most for a running back in NFL history. The Jets went 2-14 in a largely miserable 2020 season, with Gore saying the losing weighed on him. 

"Yeah, I'd say it's tough, because it's the stage of my career," Gore told reporters in November. "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."

Gore has switched teams each off the last three offseasons, going from the Miami Dolphins to the Buffalo Bills to the Jets. Each stop has seen him getting far more work than expected when he signed with the respective franchises. Gore has started 36 games over the past three seasons despite being by far the NFL's oldest active running back.

Gore and Adrian Peterson are the only two active running backs who are 33 years old or older. Peterson turns 36 in March. 

If he ultimately wins up walking away, Gore will finish his career as the NFL's third leading rusher with 16,000 yards.