Editor's note: The video above is Frank Gore giving his final press conference to the Bay Area media
The 49ers’ all-time leading rusher is now with the Indianapolis Colts, but he has some lingering thoughts about his offseason departure from the organization for which he played his first 10 NFL seasons.
In an interview with Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, Gore explained the organization, especially general manager Trent Baalke, could have been more up-front with communication during the critical time in free agency when Gore decided to accept the Colts’ multi-year offer. The 49ers reportedly offered Gore only a one-year contract and a role as a backup.
Gore said he spoke with 49ers coach Jim Tomsula but did not have any conversations with Baalke. Gore and Baalke spoke on Dec. 22 in the 49ers' weight room and expressed mutual interest in extending the union between the 49ers and Gore.
"The only thing I was hurt by was that I thought we could have done it better," Gore said. "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 talked and he basically told me I'd be in a certain situation. But I wanted to hear it from the GM.”
Baalke declined comment to CSNBayArea.com through a team spokesman.
The 49ers selected Carlos Hyde in the second round of the 2014 draft. He rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie while serving as Gore’s backup. Gore gained 1,106 yards with a 4.3 average in his final season with the 49ers.
Gore added, “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."
In three games with the Colts, Gore has rushed for 174 yards (4.7 average) and two touchdowns. But in Week 2, he had a critical fumble at the goal line in a 20-7 loss to the New York Jets.