Tuesday, the Jets signed running back Frank Gore to a 1 year deal, and he will backup Le’veon Bell this season. This is Gore’s third AFC East team in 3 years, after stints in Miami and Buffalo. What is remarkable, is that the now 37-year old Gore is still producing, at a very impressive rate for his age. He has made many stops along the way in his career, and was never the flashiest player, but Gore has been getting it done for years.
As a 49er, Gore was elite for a long period of time. He made 4 pro bowls, including one season of over 2000 total yards, and was a huge part of the revival of the team. He was arguably the teams’ best offensive weapon during the Smith/Kaepernick era, as his hard nosed running style opened up the offense for both quarterbacks. During his entire career in San Francisco, Gore averaged over 4 yards a carry, including a whopping 5.4 yards per carry during his best season, in 2006.
Since leaving San Francisco, Frank Gore has still been an incredibly productive and useful running back, in Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo. He had a 1000 yard season with the Colts in 2016, and averaged 4.6 ypc with the Dolphins just 2 years ago, at the age of 35. His veteran presence, as well as continued success has made him an attractive free agent every off season since 2017. Even in more limited roles, Gore has flourished as a backup, still running just as hard as he did in his prime.
Gore enters this season 3rd all-time in rushing. Despite never receiving any credit as one of the top running backs in the league for most of his career, only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton have more rushing yards than he does. His stats were not always breathtaking, but for years, Gore was a consistent 1000 yard + running back, even on some inferior 49er teams. As his career winds down, I think NFL fans need to have more respect for Frank Gore, truly one of the very best running backs of this generation.