Frank Gore retires: The all-time NFL rusher is walking away after signing a one-day contract with the 49ers


Frank Gore retires: The all-time NFL rusher is walking away after signing a one-day contract with the 49ers

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

Following his retirement announcement, the team announced that 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 faced many challenges entering the NFL and now comes out of the game not only one of the greatest defensemen in NFL history, but one of the greatest football players of all time. Frank’s 16-year NFL career is a testament to his persistence. He’s played in more games than any other running back in league history,” York said.

Gore also recalled his time at San Francisco, dating back to his 2005 call-up by the team.

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

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

Commenting on what it means to become the 31st inductee in the 49ers Hall of Fame, Gore said, “Being inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, one of the most historic franchises in all of the sport, is something that’s hard to put into words grasp is . This organization will always be a part of me, an organization I will associate with forever. I will speak of San Francisco as ‘we’ and ‘us’ for the rest of my life and support the 49ers and The Faithful in any way I can.”

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

Gore is the tallest running back in NFL history after turning 30, where he sealed his induction into the Hall of Fame. Since the age of 30, he finished for 7,161 yards, 1,372 more than Emmitt Smith (5,789) – who was second on the all-time list. Four of the top five running backs at rushing yards past the age of 30 are in the Hall of Fame.

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

Here are the NFL records Gore owns:

  • Most seasons with 1,200 yards before scrimmage — 12
  • Most consecutive seasons rushing at least 500 yards — 16
  • Most consecutive seasons rushing for at least 600 yards — 14
  • Most consecutive seasons rushing for at least 700 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 of 1,200 yards from scrimmage. He is the only player with nine 1,000-yard rushing campaigns along with Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin. Only Smith and Payton have more rushing yards than Gore.

Gore’s running back longevity certainly makes his career one of the most unique for his position, making his running back records of 30 or more difficult to match in a position where most players retire before they reach that mark reach. His over-30 performance is one of the great achievements in league history.

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