SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Frank Gore has signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers and announced his retirement from the NFL.
Gore spent the first 10 years of his 16-year career with the 49ers and returned to end his career as one of the most prolific runners in league history.
Gore joined the 49ers as a third-round pick in 2005 after overcoming torn ACLs in both knees in college at Miami. Despite that injury history, Gore became one of the most durable backs in his career, rushing for at least 500 yards a record 16 times, with nine seasons of at least 1,000 yards rushing and five Pro Bowl bids.
“One of the very first things I told the 49ers organization when they drafted me in 2005 was that they got the right guy,” Gore said in a statement issued through the team. “I knew early on that I wouldn’t let my college career define me in regards to injuries, and that I would have to outwork a lot of people to get to where I wanted to be. After 10 years in San Francisco and 16 years in the NFL, I can confidently say that I put all I had into the game of football.
“Football was and is everything to me. From meetings and film study to practice and just being in the locker room, all of it meant the world to me. I am happy to officially close this chapter of my life and proud of what I was able to accomplish and the legacy I leave behind.”
Gore rushed for a franchise-record 11,073 yards in his 10 years with the 49ers and finished his career with an even 16,000 after playing for Indianapolis, Miami, Buffalo and the New York Jets. Gore last played in 2020 for the Jets, when he moved into third place all-time in rushing behind only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
Gore averaged 4.3 yards per carry in his career, rushing for 81 TDs and adding 484 receptions for 3,985 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air. He also started nine postseason games, adding 148 carries for 668 yards and five touchdowns.
“Frank had to overcome many challenges upon entering the NFL and now leaves the game not only as one of the best backs in NFL history, but one of the best football players ever,” 49ers owner Jed York said. “Frank’s 16-year NFL career is a testament to his durability, having played in more games than any other running back in league history. His grit, toughness and commitment to greatness earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and opponents."
The Niners also announced Gore will be the 31st inductee into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame.
Gore thanked his teammates, coaches and the York family.
“Being inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, one of the most historic franchises in all of sports, is something that is hard to put into words,” he said. "This organization will always be a part of me, one that I will forever associate myself with. I will talk about San Francisco as ‘we’ and ‘us’ for the rest of my life, and will support the 49ers and the faithful in every way possible.”
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