Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Trent Baalke hopes Sunday isn’t Frank Gore’s final game with the 49ers

There aren’t too many people who think Jim Harbaugh will coach another game with the 49ers after they face the Cardinals on Sunday and the coach won’t be the only person making his final appearance with the organization.

Turnover is a constant on NFL rosters and a fair number of current 49ers will be former 49ers when the 2015 season gets underway. Running back Frank Gore could be on that list.

His contract is up after the season and the team has made moves to stock their backfield with others by drafting Carlos Hyde and extending Kendall Hunter’s contract this year. General Manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday that those moves don’t mean that the team is ready to move on from Gore, however, and said he hopes that Gore returns to the team. Baalke said Gore would also like to return, although the realities of life in the NFL mean that it might not work out.

“You have to look at the situation,” Baalke said, via “Frank is going to want to discuss his role, and what that role is going to be moving forward. What is the contract itself going to look like? We can both want each other’s company, but to make that happen, there are hurdles that are going to have to be crossed. He knows we are interested. We know he is interested. And we’re going to see if we can come together at some point. Now isn’t the time. I know what’s on Frank’s mind, and that’s finishing this season with a ‘W,’ and potentially get that 1,000-yard barrier that he covets — his eighth 1,000-yard season. And that, in and of itself, is yeoman’s work.”

Gore has been as durable as he’s been productive for the 49ers over the years, but teams haven’t been clamoring to sign 32-year-old running backs in recent seasons. That might boost the chances that Gore remains with the team, although everything is likely to remain up in the air until the 49ers figure out who will be coaching them in 2015.

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