Originally posted by GORO:
**** Willis is making alot this year to free up money for future years, this will give the team the option of extending Bowman and Justin Smith in the near future so they will not touch Willis contract.
** Frank Gore is still a productive back and will make this team. Brandon Jacobs and Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright have to fight for spots on this team.
$$$ Kyle Williams has a strong shot to replace Ginn next year unless somebody steps up during the off season.
I like Gore and would keep him if there wasn't such a logjam at the position. He started off ok, got hot for five or so weeks, then slowed down about halfway through the season. It was obvious he was hurting later in the season and playoffs. He can't handle the number of carries he used to, he's on the downside of his career.
The biggest thing that set him apart from other starting caliber backs is his pass blocking which Kendall Hunter showed he is fully capable of doing. Brandon Jacobs has been a good running back in the NFL who is looking for his next contract. He's going to be hungry so he's going to run like the Brandon Jacobs of old. I feel those two alone can make up for what you miss from Gore. On top of that you bring LaMichael James into the picture and he provides that electricity that players like Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush bring to the field. In my opinion, a trio of Hunter, Jacobs, and James brings more to the team than Gore taking the majority of the carries.
The only downside Gore has had during his career has been his speed. He's not fast enough to finish off those break away runs. He's always tracked down 40 or 50 yards downfield. We saw a lot of this last year where the 49ers ran a play that was designed beautifully and executed flawlessly with Gore breaking free for the endzone but he gets caught at the 20 or 30 yard line because he doesn't have the speed to finish off the run. If you don't remember any of these think of the Detroit game where Delanie Walker acted as a pulling guard and popped Suh right in the mouth. Gore ran through a giant hole only to be caught from behind around the two yard line. If Hunter or James breaks free on one of those runs, it's a touchdown which the 49ers struggled to get last year. This is the biggest reason I think the 49ers should let Frank go a year too early rather than a year too late.
With all that said, I like Gore and will be completely happy if they keep him but it's my opinion that the 49ers would help themselves more by letting him go this year.