Frank Gore retires: NFL’s 3rd all-time runner quits after signing one-day deal with 49ers

Frank Gore retires: NFL’s 3rd all-time runner quits after signing one-day deal with 49ers

Frank Gore officially retired from the NFL as one of the greatest running backs in league history, calling it a career after 16 seasons on Thursday. Gore signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers to retire with the team that drafted him. Gore has compiled 11,073 of his 16,000 career rushing yards at San Francisco. Gore had confirmed his intention to walk away from the game as the 49er earlier this offseason.

Following the announcement of his retirement, the team revealed he would be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame. 49ers CEO Jed York praised Gore’s “courage, tenacity and commitment to greatness” in the announcement.

“Frank had to overcome many challenges coming into the NFL and now leaves the game not only as one of the greatest guards in NFL history, but also as one of the greatest football players of all time. Frank’s 16-year career in the NFL is a testament to his durability, having played in more games than any running back in league history,” York said.

Gore also reflected on his time in San Francisco, dating back to when the team drafted him in 2005.

“One of the very first things I said to the 49ers organization when they drafted me in 2005 was that they had found the right guy,” Gore said.

The 39-year-old thanked his friends, family, former coaches, team-mates and the York family for what they have done for him throughout his career.

Gore commented on what it means to become the 31st Hall of Famer for the 49ers, saying, “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame for the 49ers, one of the most historic franchises in all of sports, is something hard to put into words. This organization will always be a part of me, one I will forever be associated with. I will speak of San Francisco as “us” and “us” for the rest of my life, and will support the 49ers and The Faithful in every possible way.”

Gore retires with the third-most rushing yards in NFL history (16,000) and the fifth-most all-around yards in NFL history (19,992). His 3,735 career attempts are the third in NFL history and he is only one of 23 players in league history with 100 total touchdowns. A five-time Pro Bowl draft pick and a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team, Gore had nine career 1,000-yard seasons and was the definition of consistency in running back.

Gore is the greatest running back in NFL history past the age of 30, which is where he sealed his Hall of Fame bid. He finished with 7,161 yards since he turned 30, 1,372 more than Emmitt Smith (5,789) – who was second on the all-time list. Four of the top five running backs in rushing yards after turning 30 are in the Hall of Fame.

Gore finished with 187 carries and 653 yards and two touchdowns in 2020 as he was the No. 1 running back for the New York Jets at age 37. He didn’t play in 2021, but was the oldest player to lead his team in rushing in NFL history.

Here are the NFL records that Gore owns:

  • Most seasons with 1,200 scrimmage yards – 12
  • Most consecutive seasons with at least 500 rushing yards – 16
  • Most consecutive seasons with at least 600 rushing yards – 14
  • Most consecutive seasons with at least 700 rushing yards – 13 (tied with Smith)
  • Most career games by an NFL running back – 241

Gore is the first player in NFL history with 12 straight seasons for 1,200 yards from scrimmage. He joins Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin as the only players with nine 1,000-yard rushing campaigns. Only Smith and Payton have more rushing yards than Gore.

Gore’s longevity as a running back certainly makes his career one of the most unique for his position, making his records for running backs 30 or more difficult to achieve at a position where most players are. retired before reaching that mark. His performance over 30 is one of the great achievements in league history.

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