Frank Gore

NFL rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett not interested in Frank Gore's No. 21

NFL rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett not interested in Frank Gore's No. 21

New 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has worn No. 22 his entire NFL career, but he'll have to choose a different number in 2019.

Running back Matt Breida wears the number, so Verrett reportedly inquired about wearing No. 21. The 49ers told him he could under one condition, The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Monday morning. 

However, Barrows later reported Monday that Verrett is no longer interested in potentially donning Gore's former number.

Gore, of course, is still an active player. He signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills at the start of free agency and will play in his 15th NFL season. But, this seems to confirm the obvious: Gore is a lock to have his number retired by the 49ers. 

No. 21 seemingly has been in unofficial retirement since Gore signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. In each of the last four seasons, no player has worn the number.

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And for good reason.

Gore remains the 49ers' leading rusher (11,073 yards), and played more games (148) than all but seven players in franchise history. The 49ers toiled in mediocrity and turned into a contender during his decade in the Bay Area, and he was a consistent offensive centerpiece throughout. The Miami product rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all but two of his seasons with the 49ers. 

Gore told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce earlier this month that he wants to retire with the 49ers when he finally hangs up his cleats. It appears he won't have to wait much longer after that for his number to be retired, too. 

Frank Gore wants to retire as member of 49ers when NFL career is over

Frank Gore wants to retire as member of 49ers when NFL career is over

Frank Gore isn't ready for the final chapter of his NFL career.

The veteran running back signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills in free agency, and he still thinks he has a lot left in the tank. Once it reaches empty, Gore knows exactly where he wants to be: With the 49ers. 

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"[I was] there 10 years, man," Gore told Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game on Friday. "They was the ones that gave me the first opportunity to play in the [NFL]. Coming out of college I was injured, and they still gave me the opportunity to get to that level I always wanted to get to as a kid." 

"I started there, and I'm going to finish there. When I'm done, whenever I feel like I'm done, I'm gonna come back and retire as a Niner."

The 49ers drafted Frank Gore in the third round out of the University of Miami in 2005. Gore tore his left ACL twice while with the Hurricanes, and there were questions about his durability. 

Now, Gore is entering his 15th NFL season. With 14,748 rushing yards, he ranks fourth on the league's all-time rushing list. Gore needs just 521 yards to pass Barry Sanders for third.

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The Bills will be Gore's third team in the last three seasons, but he will be best remembered for his decade with the 49ers. He rushed for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns in 148 games -- each of which is a team record -- with San Francisco. Gore wasn't exactly a compiler, either, as his 74.8 rushing yards per game are the second-most in franchise history. 

His No. 21 is a lock to be retired once he hangs up his cleats, and Gore seems to know that as well as anyone. 

NFL free agency rumors: 49ers legend Frank Gore agrees to Bills contract

NFL free agency rumors: 49ers legend Frank Gore agrees to Bills contract

Former 49ers running back Frank Gore has reportedly come to terms with the Bills to play in his 15th NFL season with a one-year, $9 million agreement. 

Gore appeared to confirm the agreement later Monday night.

Gore has spent some of the offseason working out with Bills running back LeSean McCoy in Miami, as he did in 2018. McCoy has been very vocal about his respect for the veteran running back, so it's possible that could have influenced his decision. 

It should be noted that Gore has until Wednesday at 1 p.m. to sign his name on the dotted line. Four years ago, Gore agreed to terms with the Eagles before ending up playing for the Colts instead. 

Gore ranks fourth in all-time career rushing yards with 14,478. He trails only Barry Sanders (15,269), Walter Payton (16,726) and Emmitt Smith (18,355). If you’re doing the math, Gore needs only 521 yards to tie Sanders. Just for perspective, Gore’s lowest season total was in his rookie year when he rushed for 608 yards. 

In his 10 years with San Francisco, Gore was selected to five Pro Bowls and rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight seasons. He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft, and of the 22 running backs drafted that year, only he and Darren Sproles were still playing in 2018.

Gore leads the league in career rushing attempts (3,382) rushing yards (14,748) and yards from scrimmage (18,544) of all active players. His average of 4.6 yards per attempt with the Dolphins in 2018 was his best since he was with the 49ers in 2012 when he averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

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Gore is beloved by the 49ers organization and fans alike, and will likely be inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and 49ers Hall of Fame once he becomes eligible. 

All-time NFL leading rushers
1. Emmitt Smith 18,355 (1990-2004)
2. Walter Payton 16,726 (1975-1987)
3. Barry Sanders 15,269 (1989-1998)
4. Frank Gore 14,748 (2005-current)
5. Curtis Martin 14,101 (1995-2005)
6. LaDainian Tomlinson 13,684 (2001-2011)
7. Jerome Bettis 13,662 (1993-2005)
8. Adrian Peterson 13,318 (2007-current)
9. Eric Dickerson 13,259 (1983-1993)
10. Tony Dorsett 12,739 (1977-1988)