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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Gore had talks with Jed York about retiring with 49ers

Sep 19, 2020 at 11:42 AM--

Whenever running back Frank Gore plans to call it a career, he plans to do so as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. That will likely come on a one-day ceremonial deal so that he can retire with the team that drafted him 15 years ago.

To anyone who follows the 49ers, they already knew this. What Gore, the team's all-time leading rusher, told NBC Sports Bay Area this week is that he's already had a discussion with 49ers CEO Jed York about the plans, and the two sides agreed to make sure it happens.

"We talked about that," Gore said. "I got to. That's the team that gave me the opportunity to do something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, play NFL ball. I was there for 10 great years. Been on bad teams and been on great teams. I love it out there."

Gore's words match what he has said in the past. His love for the 49ers remains even though he hasn't been a part of the team's roster since the 2014 season. The running back still keeps in touch with the organization, though.

"The owners are great people," Gore said. "Even today, they call and check on me."

Gore is in his 16th NFL season, which is an incredible feat for a running back. His 11,073 yards through 10 seasons with San Francisco are the most by a single player in franchise history. Gore's 15,371 career rushing yards rank No. 3 on the NFL's all-time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.

Offensive tackle Trent Williams was asked this week about Gore and his former teammate, 35-year-old running back Adrian Peterson, playing so long.

"Obviously, you throw out the age because a lot of people don't expect running backs to get that high in age and play as well as those guys are playing," Williams said. "It is a bit surprising, but that's the trend nowadays. ... I know it's a little more rare to see a running back play to that age, but it's happening.

"The way that sports medicine is today, and the way that guys train today, and able to optimize everything in the game and on the training side as far as helping prevent injuries, and helping play through injuries, I think you'll start to see that more and more often. It's getting a little easier for guys to last longer."

Now a member of the New York Jets, Gore will start against his former team on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk said Friday that Gore's ability to play this long is impressive.

"It is not easy to play running back in this league, and especially for that long," Juszczyk said. "So kudos to him. He's go to be taking care of his body. But he's still doing it. He's still looks great out there. He still looks strong. He looks quick. It looks like he's making great decisions. He's still a premiere back."

Gore has expressed a desire to finish his career with the 49ers since leaving the team.

"I'm going to be a Niner, you know, I've been there – that's who drafted me, gave me the opportunity to come into this league, to be a professional ball player, and I was there 10 years," Gore said last year. "That's my home, my second home. It would be right to go back – if I have to do a one-day [contract], sign that, and I'll be a Niner for life."

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