San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is in the last year of his contract, set to earn $2.9 million this year and $2 million as a roster bonus. Like any other good player, Gore is looking to cash in and secure a contract extension. Coach Jim Harbaugh says that he expects Gore to get his contract extension "sooner rather than later," according to SportsNet Bay Area's Mindi Bach.
The two-time Pro-Bowler had posted four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the 49ers prior to last season. Gore definitely would have made it five straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons last year had it not been for a fractured hip that cost him five games.
Gore is the centerpiece of the 49ers offense and expanded his offensive role last season. In only 11 games of action, Gore took 203 carries for a total of 853 yards. In the two seasons prior to 2010, when Gore played 14 games each season, Gore saw only a slightly larger workload with 229 carries in 2009 and 240 carries in 2008. Gore also posted 452 receiving yards last season, achieving more yards last year in 11 games than in any of the previous three seasons when he played between 14 to 15 games.
Needless to say, both sides would like to get this deal done. The 49ers should be cautious about injury concerns, but Gore is too big of an offensive cog in their system to replace. If Coach Harbaugh's statement is to be trusted, the 49ers and Gore may begin contract extension talks very soon.