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.
Jason Verrett has asked to wear No. 21. Response from the team: If you get Frank Gore’s blessing, it’s yours.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 25, 2019
However, Barrows later reported Monday that Verrett is no longer interested in potentially donning Gore's former number.
****UPDATE**** Jason Verrett said he's not interested in No. 21. He's working on his new number but no decisions have been made yet.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 25, 2019
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.
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.