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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Sounds as if Trent Baalke gave Frank Gore the cold shoulder on his way out

Al Sacco
Oct 3, 2015 at 6:33 AM27

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We all knew there was a good chance that Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers would part ways after the 2014 season. After all, Gore was going to be 32 years old and it made sense to possibly go with a younger option. But I think we expected that if the team did decide to move on from it's all-time leading rusher, it would have been done with class and dignity. Well, we are dealing with Trent Baalke and the York's here, so I guess that would have been expecting too much.

According to a story by Stephen Holder of the Indy Star, it sounds as if Gore's desires to meet with general manager Baalke after his contract expired fell on deaf ears.

"The only thing I was hurt by was that I thought we could have done it better," Gore said of his departure after 10 dedicated seasons. "Like, no bull----. Just straight up. I don't know if I even wanted to go back. But I would have felt better if we would have sat down and had a conversation. I mean, I was going to test the market no matter what. Me and the head coach (Jim Tomsula) talked and he basically told me I'd be in a certain situation. But I wanted to hear it from the GM (Trent Baalke).

"I mean, you could let us compete. You didn't have to say I was automatically going to take the back seat. Put it on me. I mean, bro, I finished last season with 1,100 yards. Every time I got opportunities, I did something with it. So, I felt like, 'Fine, if you want to go with the young guy, (make him) beat me out. It wasn't like I can't play anymore. If he beats me out, I can handle that. You can't play this game forever. I knew I couldn't be there forever. But I was there 10 years and I played every down the same whether we were winning or not."

The way I interpret this situation is that Gore wanted to speak with Baalke and it didn't happen that way. What disgusts me is that if anyone deserved a face-to-face it was Gore. This wasn't Perrish Cox, it was the franchise's all-time leading rusher. Sooner than later, there will be a Frank Gore day, and his number will be retired. When there are ceremonies honoring the greats in 49ers' history, he'll be there.

But really, should this situation surprise any of us? I give Jim Tomsula credit for talking with Gore and being front and center for the Aldon Smith situation, etc. But where has Baalke (and Jed York for that matter) been? In the shadows.

Look, I'm not saying San Francisco should have held on to Gore at age 32. In fact, I thought it was the right choice to move on and go with Carlos Hyde. But York talks about winning with about handling your most important player over the last 10 years with some?

But again, is anyone really shocked by anything this organization does at this point?

Al Sacco has covered the 49ers for various sites over the years. He's been a guest on multiple podcasts and had his work used by ESPN NFL Insiders and USA TODAY. Follow Al on Twitter @AlSacco49
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Trent Ahole
    It's only a matter of time before Baalke is gone. His wasted draft picks have led to a gross neglect of depth by his drafting injured players and projects. Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches period. He's turned Michigan around in half a season. Michigan will have more wins this year than the 49ers will have this year and next.
    Oct 11, 2015 at 9:28 PM
  • Nflguy
    It rarely ends well for NFL players. Gore is 2 yrs past his "best if used by" date for running backs. No way SF was going to bring him back unless he was willing to be a backup at a backup salary. He said himself that he was going to test the market anyway. I dislike Jed and Trent buy find no fault in this.
    Oct 9, 2015 at 8:57 PM
  • John Dork(yur Boss trent baalsuk)
    Um Trent, did you just call me an Idiot? oh on another note were finding out from our coaching change that Geep Christ is no Greg Roman. Haha, Is Steve Mooch still around? Maybe we can beg and plead him to come back and coach our team to a suprbowl because our goal is to win suprbowls as my smart son jed says.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 10:04 PM
  • trent baalsuk
    Correction: I wanted to clarify. I have made made 39 picks in the last four years and have one all pro from the last four drafts. Thats really outstanding! I bet this year I can get 13 draft picks! Thats my goal, people really love it when i do that! Here's my secret, just between you and me. If you can't draft quality, draft quantity, my boss loves when I do that. It's like wiping your ass with three rolls of toilet paper when a kleenex would do. Try it! You'll love it.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 11:01 AM
  • Trent Baasuk
    Out of the last three years the one all pro player I got was actually a JH pick, Eric Reid. That’s about 30 draft picks in three years but hey let’s not do the math. I’m doing a great job, my boss is idiot and the coaching staff is joke. So what's the secret of my success? Surround yourself with crap and you always float to the top.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 10:46 AM
  • Trent Baalsuk
    A message to my fans, As GM and architect of SF Forty-Niners I just wanted to say I have a dream. I may not get there with ya, you may not get there either but I have plan. My plan is to keep my job. And I’m doing a great job, everything looks rosy for me. The owner of the team loves me, I slash payroll by firing an entire coaching staff and hiring losers for pennies on the dollar. I sign free agents that no one wants, CHEAP (exception Torrie Smith, Thanks Boldin for recruiting him for me, And thanks Harbaugh for letting me know Boldin is available by trade). One of the benefits of signing losers we don’t need to spend money, except for Docket we paid 2 million for him to play 5 minutes in pre-season. *** Don’t tell my boss he would crap hard *** Things look great for me, I draft players that experts won’t know they suck for four years. Whats my secret? I draft players that are very young, at positions we have a ton of depth and most of the time are injured anyway so we don’t really know they suck for another two years. The experts think I’m brilliant, I’m stockpiling draft picks, I draft more players than anyone in football.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 10:41 AM
  • JACK
    Al, when is someone going to let it be known that the offense coordinator inexperience or lack there of, is the problem. There is no creativity in the offense. They line up so tight by the time any receiver gets open Kaepernick is running for his life. In the last game, the announcer said it didn't look like the 49ers are prepared. No one ran hot reads for the all out blitz every team is now giving. There were one series when the offense ran a spread, Kaepernick could see who was coming, one play he hit A.B. on a quick out because that's where the blitz was coming from. But apparently the OC, doesn't know how to adjust in game schemes to keep defenses honest. I've been a fan for many years, this coaching staff is not a NFL level coordinator. His lack of experience is killing this team, and making it easy for defenses to scheme against this team. All out blitz, and with the number of talented receivers on this team,they can't get the ball out? That's the coaching, not Kaepernick, or O-Line, though the O-Line dose need help.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 9:37 AM
  • jedediahyork
    Hey look, Frank was basically our offense for a decade. He said himself he was going to test the waters, so what does it matter if he had a sit down with Trent? He was going to be let go, plain and simple. No need to drag it out because you feel like they owe you something.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 1:53 AM
  • 49niner
    On a different topic, I can't help but think that JT is still nothing more than a interim coach until we find a suitable replacement for JH.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 11:57 PM
  • james Carson
    Slowly and surely, as I read these comments we are getting to the root of this disaster of our beloved team. The owners. Do they even care to win?? I am seriously wondering, How can you go from complete failure to (almost) ultimate success and back to failure willingly, I think its something you have to try for. I don't understand it. The York's had the closest thing to their Bill Walsh, now you see it now you don't. WTF York's.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 11:04 PM
  • PE
    Jed is no different than Eddie was at that age... the difference is that Eddie Sr. was a major presence in our beloved Eddie's life and Jed has not had that type of guidance (John York). The only thing keeping Eddie D out of the picture is Denise. Eddie has been scared to death of Denise and it has been that way since they were kids from what I was told... to the point that if they were "still in the business... She would have been the Boss, not Eddie. Ed's father believed Eddie was too warm, he was not cold hearted enough, but Denise was another story, lol.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:07 PM
  • Dave B
    well where York is grown man and should have known better he still is relatively young for his position but Balke I get the feeling from watching him in interviews and on TV that he's just an arrogant ass, really full of himself. It doesn't surprise me at all that he acted this way.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 7:01 PM
  • PE
    To 49niner... What you said is VERY TRUE! They have hated each other for decades and rarely communicate with each other. I was also told that is why the league had no problem giving her the team... b/c the other owners know how much they hate other and she would never allow him access to the team. This is why Eddie didnt start getting back into the picture until Jed took over. Because Jed and Eddie have a far better relationship and now Jed is old enough that his mother can not stop them from communicating. I was told this by a childhood friend of their's, when he found out I was a Niner fan. He grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. His father was a hitman for the DeBartalo family... You heard me right... a Hitman. They have longstanding mafia ties in the Cleveland-Youngstown area. Are you really surprised... lol
    Oct 3, 2015 at 6:47 PM
  • John
    Baalke you are nothing more than a puppet on a string and Jed York is controlling the other end of those strings! Both York and yourself could have handled Gores departure with class but you just have him the cold shoulder just as you both did with Jim and you will do it again after this season with Boldin!
    Oct 3, 2015 at 4:38 PM
  • 49niner
    I heard that Eddie and Denise can't stand each other either now nor back when they were fighting over who would get the team after Eddies run in with John q law after the Louisiana riverboat gambling casino license debacle. Any truth to that?
    Oct 3, 2015 at 2:02 PM
  • Gino
    He didn't discuss anything with Tomsula. Tomsula wasn't even HC when that all went down.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 11:49 AM
  • Frank
    This kind of article is "piling on"...the Niners simply couldn't afford to keep Gore and a lot of the other vets because they wanted too much $$. The landslide of criticism is need to "pile on", Al.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:52 AM
    Response: Your point about not being able to afford the vets is spot on Frank, and I agree it was time to move. My whole thing is that the way this was handled (or the way it appears anyway) was classless. Now, I don't think every player needs a sit down with GM on his way out, but this wasn't just any player. Gore is one of the all-time 49ers. He spent 10 years with the team, will have his numbered retired and was in a lot of ways the face of the franchise. They owed him a meeting if that's what he wanted imo.
  • hector
    If Niners are not gonna show some respect to their former players then, why bother? What kind of message do the Yorks send to their players when they leave the franchise either by retire or departure? Niners players and coaches should consider being part of this franchise if FO backstab you at any moment also guys outside from SF might look elsewhere for getting a job. I'm afraid that Niners gonna be once more the worst team on the league even after Baalke gets fired from his charge as GM.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:51 AM
  • NinerGM
    There is no such thing as "The Yorks". I'm sure if someone said that at the DeBartolo Thanksgiving even Eddie would be angry. Denise is just as DeBartolo as Eddie and to imply there's a difference is ridiculous to me. Further, Eddie and Walsh were even colder with players. In fact Walsh would have your replacement on the team while you were still playing in your prime. Here's a tip; under Walsh, Gore wouldn't have received the second extension and would have already been replaced 2 seasons ago. There's a litany of players in 49er history that the team just let go. No long remorseful discussion, no open competition. Walsh just pulled the lever. It's funny how when a team is winning or successful no one questions methods. As soon as things aren't quite right, there's all of this morally based second-guessing about how players were "treated." It's a business and this should be remembered above all else.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:37 AM
  • Kevin boulanger
    That's because Dalke and York don't have a fkn.clue.They should just get out and get new management that cares about football and not just money...Dallke and Yorkie both SUCK!!!!
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:36 AM
  • WINiner
    The bias is obvious in this piece. The 49ers had decided to move on, Frank wanted to leave, regardless of what he says after the fact. I don't see a problem with a GM not meeting with a player who has decided he's leaving about his future with the team, a GM who has decided he was going with the younger player anyway. Why would he want to discuss a future with that player in that situation? Give it up. Franks gone and he'd not be helping this team be anything than what it is. To me this piece comes off as sour grapes from Gore, like he expected the franchise to fall all over themselves to do anything they could to keep him and when they didn't his feelings got hurt.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 9:16 AM
  • 49niner
    What's funny is if Eddie D were to take this team from the dorks( oops I mean Yorks) WE would probably win Lombardi trophy number 6 within 3 years
    Oct 3, 2015 at 8:49 AM
  • Dustin
    To answer your question, no. No thinking person is surprised by what this organization does at this point. With that said, I can't imagine it ever ends good when a 10 year probowl player leaves. Not sure I can really blame Baalke on this one.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 8:10 AM
  • Ninersush
    He's gone. Let it go. Every one gets shown the door and majority in a way they don't like. It's life. Happened to Joe Jerry Ronnie TO etc. And it'll happen to Trent and Jim and anyone else that comes along. And to me and to you. Oh well. At least Frank made millions upon millions. We should only be so lucky. I love Frank but it's inevitable.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 8:02 AM
  • Rod
    There are ALWAYS two sides to EVERY story, its interesting how quickly one seizes on to the one that fits their narrative.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 7:28 AM
  • vermonator
    The one good thing if this season is a flop, is most likely Baalke is gone and we can start over. But if Jed still keeps him after that than I think I just might have to take a hiatus from football for a while.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 7:17 AM
  • DasDweeb
    I don't want to jump to conclusions - there's a fair amount of conjecture here - but I'm sorry to say the preponderance of evidence would be on the side of Mr. Sacco's interpretation. After that 2011 draft, who'd have thought at this point Baalke would look like a big part of the problem? Wow.
    Oct 3, 2015 at 7:00 AM

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