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Frank Gore undecided on his NFL future after season with Jets

Frank Gore #21 of the Jets looks on

Frank Gore #21 of the Jets looks on prior to a game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Inglewood, California.  Credit: Getty Images/Sean M. Haffey

Frank Gore hasn’t made a decision about whether he will play a 17th NFL season, but he might return if the right opportunity presents itself.

"I still have fun playing the game of football," Gore said during a Tuesday morning Zoom call.

The 37-year-old Gore, who led the Jets in rushing this year, said he would go home to Miami, "chill out" with his kids and see what happens. He said if a team wants him and it’s a good situation for him, he would consider playing again.

"Basically, who wants me and If I want to play," Gore said. "If a team that really wants me, a team who got a young guy who I can mentor to help out to be a better pro, a team that got a chance who can win, things like that."

Gore played that role for the Jets. All of the players and coaches praised Gore for being a such a professional and inspiring for how he approached each day.

He ended the year on injured reserve after suffering a bruised lung in Week 16. Gore said when he came to the sideline he was bleeding from his mouth but felt fine. He rushed for 653 yards, giving him exactly 16,000 for his career. Only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton have more.

Gore considers himself "blessed" to achieve that because he said, "I’m not supposed to be here right now." He was a third-round pick in 2005 after suffering two torn ACLs in college. The projection was he wouldn’t last long in the NFL. Gore proved many wrong.

Brought in by Adam Gase, Gore said he "felt" for his friend losing his job. This was the third place the two worked together — first in San Francisco and then in Miami. Gore said he hopes Gase is back coaching somewhere.

Despite the Jets’ 2-14 record, Gore said things could change quickly if general manager Joe Douglas drafts well, acquires more veteran players with a winning background to help the young players and surrounds Sam Darnold with more talent.

If Douglas and the next coach decide that Darnold isn’t the player to lead this team going forward he won’t be back. But Gore, who had high praise for Darnold’s toughness and the way he fought through and back from a shoulder injury, believes Darnold just needs better weapons.

Gore pointed to the other quarterbacks from Darnold’s 2018 draft class and the receivers they have. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield has Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and Buffalo’s Josh Allen has Stefon Diggs.

"He’s very talented, tough and he loves the game," Gore said. "You get someone a little help like that, you’ll see. If they keep him. You’ll see."

Gore also endorsed his former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Gore wouldn’t be surprised if Harbaugh leaves Michigan and returns to the NFL at some point. He has been linked to the Jets. Gore said he would turn them around.

"He’ll make this team very competitive," Gore said. "He’ll get a great staff with him. He knows how to get the guys' minds to switch to go to war for him, like do whatever it takes, try their best to win. That’s what he can do. That’s my man. Harbaugh’s my man."

New York Sports