The third-leading rusher in NFL history will be taking handoffs from Sam Darnold this year.
The Jets have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with running back Frank Gore, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed Tuesday. The future Hall of Famer will be reunited with Adam Gase, who worked with Gore with the 49ers and the Dolphins.
Gore, who will turn 37 next week, has run for 15,347 yards in his 15-year career. Only Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith have rushed for more.
“I’ve heard from a bunch of people he’s a guy with a great work ethic, and a really good leader, really good locker room guy,” Darnold said. “And obviously, it looks like he can still play. We’re thrilled to have him. Coach Gase has worked with him before and he speaks very highly of him.”
The Jets were looking to add quality depth to the backfield as well as a good veteran to the locker room. The durable Gore played in all 16 games with the Bills last season and finished second on the team in rushing with 599 yards on 166 carries and two touchdowns. Gore’s yards and yards per carry (3.6) were career lows, but he served more as a mentor for rookie Devin Singletary.
Gore’s yards per rush were higher than Le’Veon Bell’s (3.2), but Gore played behind a far better offensive line.
Part of Gase’s plan is to take some of the workload off Bell, and Gore can do that. He also can help mentor dual-threat back La’Mical Perine, whom the Jets drafted in the fourth round out of Florida. The Jets’ running back corps also features Josh Adams, Kenneth Dixon and Trent Cannon. Bilal Powell remains unsigned and could be an option to add more depth, but Gore is one of Gase's favorites.
He first worked with Gore in 2008 when Gase was an offensive assistant with the 49ers. Gase brought Gore to the Dolphins in 2018 and he was Miami’s leading rusher that season with 722 yards on 154 carries.
Before the Jets played the Bills in the season opener last September, Gase said of Gore, “He still looks like he’s 25 somehow. No idea how.” But then Gase said it’s not surprising that he is still playing and producing.
“If you watched him work day in and day out, it wouldn’t surprise you,” Gase said. “We would always try to say, ‘Hey, you should take today off.’ And he’s like, ‘Wednesdays I’m practicing,' and he wants every rep. He loves football. There’s no other place he’d rather be than the practice field, game day. Everything about football he loves.”
The Jets are the fifth team in Gore's career and the fourth in four years. After spending his first 10 years with the 49ers, Gore played three seasons with the Colts. He has rushed for at least 1,000 yards nine times and made five Pro Bowls.
Enunwa to PUP
Receivers Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy will be placed on the season-ending Physically Unable to Perform list. This was the expected outcome for Enunwa after he missed the final 15 games last season with a neck injury. His career was in doubt the moment he was hurt in Week 1. He’s guaranteed $6 million this season.
Bellamy hurt his shoulder and missed the last nine games in 2019. He’s due $2.25 million this year.
The Jets also waived defensive end Charles Tapper, running back Jalin Moore, cornerback Kyron Brown and wide receiver Keon Hatcher.
Nickname: The Inconvenient Truth
Height / Weight: 5-9, 212 pounds
Born: May 14, 1983
College: Miami (Fla.)
Draft: San Francisco 49ers, 3rd round (65th overall), 2005
NFL Experience: 15 seasons
Did you know?: Son, Frank Gore Jr., will enter his freshman season as a running back at Southern Mississippi this season.
Yards: 15,347 (3rd all-time)
Carries: 3,548 (3rd all-time)
Total TDs: 98