Frank Gore on a different coast, in a fast-paced offense and in green and black?
According to a report today in NJ.com, the Eagles are one of the teams interested in signing the 49ers' all-time leading rusher. Teams were allowed to begin negotiating with the agents of soon-to-be free agents like Gore on Saturday but cannot sign them until 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The Eagles fell to the 49ers, 26-21, in Week 4 last season, a game in which Gore had 119 yards on the ground and caught a 55-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Philadelphia last week traded its starting running back, LeSean McCoy, to the Bills. The thinking at the time was that the Eagles would tap a running back in a draft that's laden with good running backs.
The 49ers have said for months that they hope to re-sign Gore, who last year played his 10th season with the team. However, their ultimate offer is unlikely to come close to the $6.45 million the 31-year-old running back made the last two seasons and the veteran runner is taking part in free agency to establish his value.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Eagles will offer Gore a contract that averages more than $5 million a year; the 49ers are believed to value Gore at $4 million a year.
Gore might consider Philadelphia because of McCoy's success in the Eagles offense. McCoy led the NFL in rushing yards in 2013 and finished third in the league last season. The Eagles have an innovative offense and one of the NFL's top offensive lines.
Gore wants to have another 1,000-plus yard season, which would leave him with more than 12,000 yards for his career and would put him in a better position to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Eagles could supply that. Philadelphia also has more than $45 million in salary-cap space.
Still, Gore also wants a shot at a Super Bowl title. Under coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles were ousted in the Wildcard round in 2013 and last year didn't make the playoffs. Other teams that may be closer to a Super Bowl title, including the Colts, also have expressed interest in Gore.
Last month an Instagram post by Gore, in which he seemed to cast doubts bout the 49ers’ commitment to him, triggered a phone call from general manager Trent Baalke.
“We’re still working on it," Baalke said of a possible deal with Gore. "It’s not something that’s going to get done yesterday. It’ll take some time to resolve. It’s our intention to have Frank back.”
Meanwhile, ESPN reports the 49ers are "very interested" in Ravens free-agent receiver Torrey Smith. The team wants a fast receiver who can stretch the field, and Smith, who ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in 2011, fits that description. Smith's age -- he turns 27 in June -- also makes him an attractive free agent.
Smith's best season came in 2013 when he had 1,128 receiving yards and averaged 17.4 yards a catch. Last year he had a career-low 767 yards but also caught 11 touchdowns for the Ravens. He and current 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin won a Super Bowl together in 2012 while with the Ravens. Boldin had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in that game; Smith had two catches for 35 yards.
Something to keep in mind: Under Baalke, the 49ers rarely have made big splashes in free agency. The 49ers signed a low-level free-agent receiver, Jerome Simpson, last week. They also are thought to be interested in taking a receiver early in the May draft.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.