Yesterday, the report from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller that Frank Gore was unlikely to return to the 49ers and that the Colts were interested in him, even being viewed as a "shoo-in" to get him, received quite a bit of attention. On Wednesday morning at the annual scouting combine, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke pumped the brakes on that story.
"It's at the same place it was the last time we talked," Baalke said, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. "We're still working on it. It's not something that's going to get done yesterday. It'll take some time to resolve. It's our intention to have Frank back."
Maiocco noted that this would be the first time in Gore's career that he is an unrestricted free agent and that the 49ers are expected to offer him less money than the $6.45 million that Gore played for in each of the past two seasons.
The talk of Gore leaving the 49ers and joining the Colts picked up greatly yesterday, with Miller reporting that both Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and Colts associate head coach Rob Chudzinski want the running back.
Gore will turn 32 years old later this offseason, but he has had a very successful NFL career. In ten seasons, he has rushed for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns while averaging 4.5 yards per carry, adding 342 catches for 2,883 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight different seasons.
He's a good running back, but his age along with the fact that the 49ers want Carlos Hyde to take over a bigger role leads to questions about whether Gore will be returning. A few days ago, Gore posted an Instagram message wondering if the team wanted him back. "I know the fans love me but I need to know if the management does but I'm going to love my fans no matter what," Gore wrote.
For the Colts, they need running back help, as they are likely to part ways with Trent Richardson this offseason and have decisions to make about whether to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw (unrestricted free agent) and/or Daniel "Boom" Herron (restricted free agent). It is assumed that Herron will return and unknown about Bradsdhaw, but either way the team needs help at the running back position. Signing Gore would give the team a veteran presence and a guy who has consistently produced, while allowing time for younger players (maybe even a player acquired in the Draft) to develop.