Frank Gore Says He'd Love to Return to 49ers in Free Agency This Offseason

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2021

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

Veteran free-agent running back Frank Gore expressed interest Friday in returning to the San Francisco 49ers.

During an appearance on 95.7 The Game, Gore was asked if he would consider reuniting with his first NFL team and responded affirmatively: "Oh, oh, I'd come back fast. Man, I'd love to wear that No. 21 jersey one more time. If that was to happen, that would definitely be my last year, if I could come back and sign with the 49ers."

The 37-year-old Gore spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the 49ers, rushing for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns while also catching 342 passes for 2,883 yards and 11 scores.

Gore rushed for 1,000 or more yards in a season eight times as a member of the Niners, and he was named to the Pro Bowl five times.

He departed from the 49ers following the 2014 campaign and has played six more NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

Gore only returned to 1,000-yard status once since leaving San Francisco, but he has remained productive and added to his impressive career totals.

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He is third in NFL history with 16,000 rushing yards, putting him behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. Gore is just 726 yards shy of tying Payton for second on the all-time list.   

Gore is also 19th in NFL history with 81 rushing touchdowns, making him a virtual shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame after he retires.

This past season, Gore appeared in 15 games and made 14 starts for the Jets, who parted ways with Le'Veon Bell and dealt with multiple injuries at the running back position.

Gore showed he still had something left in the tank with 653 yards and two touchdowns on 187 carries plus 16 catches for 89 receiving yards.

The 49ers don't necessarily have a big need at running back since Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson are set to return in 2021, but both Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon will be entering free agency.

Gore said Friday that he has "respect" for the York family, which owns the 49ers, and also called head coach Kyle Shanahan "one of the best play-callers in the game right now."

If the Niners do not bring back Coleman or McKinnon, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that Gore could go back to where it all began.