We knew plenty of news concerning the 49ers would come out this week however not all the news would be good. Here comes the bad. ESPN is reporting that Frank Gore will hold out for a contract extension and not report to 49ers training camp. Gore’s threat to holdout will not end well for the running back and although I don’t agree with it I see his reasoning. Gore is a 27 year old running back and is fast approaching the old as mold category in the NFL and he knows this. The 49ers have not extended a contract to Gore because of his age and his hip injury last season. GM Trent Baalke is in a wait and see mode with Gore. Gore has to show he is past his hip injury and can get through a full season without getting hurt. Only then will Baalke offer a contract.
It should also be pointed out that Gore’s agent is Drew Rosenhaus which gives you some insight into the running backs thinking for holding out. Gore and his agent want to get the biggest contract possible and they know it will only come from the 49ers and before the season starts. Gore has suffered injuries in the last three seasons that have cause him to miss games with last years hip injury the most serious.
With the Jim Harbaugh era starting and Baalke in his first full season as GM neither will want to give in to any player holding out let alone a fan favorite who is a vital part of the offense. Harbaugh is a hard nosed coach and will conduct business as usual and Baalke was in the 49ers front office during Michael Crabtree’s holdout so there is a chance the holdout will not be short. Eventually Gore will come to his senses, stop listening to his agent and join the rest of his teammates on the field in training camp.
Life without Gore
The 49ers have never had a backup behind Gore that gave the team a reliable option to replace him. Second year player Anthony Dixon is still a work in progress and is not an every down running back. Rookie Kendall Hunter might have promise but don’t expect a breakout year. Baalke and Harbaugh might react to Gore’s holdout by signing one of the free agent running backs available on Friday just as insurance. The 49ers start training camp tomorrow with one of their most important players on offense MIA. Not a good way to start the Harbaugh era.