On Tuesday, sources indicated that San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore had agreed to a three-year extension with the team for $21 million, with $13.5 million of it guaranteed. The signing became official as Gore signed his new contract on Wednesday morning.
“The team drafted me and they stepped up and showed me that they wanted me to be here for my whole career,” Gore said. He thanked the entire organization and his agent for getting a deal done. “I’m happy to be a Niner and I’m very happy it’s over with. We’re taking steps and trying to get the West (title) and get to the playoffs.”
Gore’s agent Drew Rosenhaus met with the team on Monday for an all-day negotiation session. General manager Trent Baalke was excited that both sides were able to come to an agreement.
“The collective goal all along was to allow Frank the unique opportunity to play his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers, and we are extremely pleased to have accomplished this,” said Baalke. “We appreciate the diligent efforts of Drew and Jason Rosenhaus on Frank’s behalf, as they worked closely with (COO) Paraag Marathe to make this deal happen. Frank’s love for the Bay Area Community, play on the field and leadership within the locker room are equaled only by his passion for the game.”
The new contract guarantees Gore’s place with the 49ers through the 2014 season. That would essentially keep Gore with the 49ers for the remainder of his career. He was drafted by the 49ers in the third round (65th overall) in 2005 and has played in 85 games (71 starts) with the organization.
Gore said he still holds a chip on his shoulder for the teams that passed him up in the draft. He named every running back that was taken ahead of him in the draft, saying that he wanted to prove to every team that he was the best back out of all of them.
“I still carry that chip on my shoulder and I’ll continue to carry it on myself,” he said.
At the beginning of training camp, Gore held out for four days in hopes of a new deal. He returned to the team knowing tha the didn’t want to miss any more playing time with his teammates. A new contract was on Gore’s mind throughout training camp and for him, it was a relief that he was able to get his extension before the start of the regular season. Now his focus is on helping the team win.
“I see Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and his coaching staff — they’re great football guys,” Gore said. “I have no doubt that we can get it done. I know we have talent in the locker room that are probably more (talented) than any NFL team. I love my teammates and I feel that we can get it done with the guys in the locker room.”
Gore, who said he patterned his running style to that of Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith, cited the importance of remaining with the organization because the team drafted him, believed in him and that he believes in his teammates. He also credited the organization’s passionate fans for sticking with the team through the tough times. Since being drafted by the 49ers, Gore has not been to the playoffs but he hopes that he can help bring a division title to San Francisco.
He has rushed for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons (2006-09) — a team record. Gore’s 6,414 yards rushing rank third in franchise history and his 8,697 yards from scrimmage rank fourth. If he can rush for 931 yards this season, he will become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.
Gore also holds the franchise record for most 100-yard games (24) and 200-yard games (two). He has led the 49ers in rushing every year since 2005, and in 2006, he led the NFC with 1,695 rushing yards.
He now has a chance to add on to those numbers and break records for four more years with the 49ers — something Gore said he’d love to do with the 49ers.
“Hopefully (I’ll) get my name on the 10-year wall and break some more records out here,” Gore said. “You rarely see running backs get to finish their career with the team that drafted them. I can say I’m one of them.”