Despite CEO Jed York’s confidence the 49ers will re-sign running back Frank Gore, the club appears to be running the risk of losing the franchise’s all-time leading rusher at the opening of the free-agent signing period.
League sources said the Indianapolis Colts and Gore have mutual interest in working toward a contract. And the Philadelphia Eagles have also reportedly expressed interest in Gore. A deal with the Eagles could get done as early as Tuesday, reported NJ Advance Media.
A three-day window opened on Saturday in which agents for scheduled free agents could begin conversations with NFL teams about their clients. The free-agent signing period opens on Tuesday at 1 p.m. (PT).
On Thursday, York told the San Francisco Chronicle that he believes Gore will be back for his 11th season with the 49ers.
“We want him back,” York said. “I think he wants to be here. I know he wants to be here. And I think we'll figure out a way to do it. We'll definitely try. I think we'll figure out a way. That’s my feeling.”
General manager Trent Baalke told CSNBayArea.com before the final game of the season that he wanted to re-sign Gore.
“He understands what he means to this organization,” Baalke said. “He would certainly like to be back, and we would certainly like to have him back. Now, whether we can make that a reality or not, time will tell.”
Gore collected $6.45 million in both of the past two seasons from the 49ers. But the 49ers are not expected to be willing to pay him as much this season. Gore, who turns 32 in May, rushed for 1,106 yards and four touchdowns on 255 rushing attempts last season.
Gore has eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in eight of his 10 NFL seasons since the 49ers selected him in the third round of the 2005 draft. With 11,073 career rushing yards, Gore ranks No. 20 on the all-time NFL list.