Frank Gore visiting Detroit Lions in free agency

Former Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore is expected to visit with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.
By Alex Butler  |  March 14, 2018

(UPI) — Former Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is visiting the Detroit Lions Wednesday.

The 13-year NFL veteran informed NFL Network and ESPN of the visit on Wednesday morning. The NFL’s free agency period officially begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Gore, 34, spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent his last three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. The third-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft had 961 yards and three touchdowns on 261 carries in 2017. He tied his career-low, running for 3.7 yards per carry.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection had his last 1,000-yard season in 2016, when he ran for 1,025 yards and four scores on 263 carries. Gore has had at least 250 carries in seven consecutive seasons.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine that the franchise was moving on from the running back.

“I am aware that Chris and Frank did have a discussion once the season was over,” new Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters in February. “And out of respect to Frank so he could know exactly what was going on, Chris was right up front and said that we probably would be moving on to make the roster a little bit younger at that position.”

Colts running backs Marlon Mack, Robert Turbin, Matt Jones and Josh Ferguson are set to return to the depth chart in 2018.

“Just in three years, even though most of his career was in San Francisco, his three years [Gore’s] left an impact on the locker room and people like I don’t know if I’ve seen another player do,” Ballard told reporters.

“[He] knows that we’re at a point where we need to get younger…I want to give Frank a chance to go see what’s out there and see if he finishes in a place where he wants to finish it.”

Gore ranks No. 5 all-time in with 14,026 career rushing yards, just 75 yards behind Hall of Famer Curtis Martin and 1,243 yards behind third-place Barry Sanders.

Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are both still under contract with the Lions and currently top the depth chart at running back. Free agent running back DeMarco Murray and Jonathan Stewart also scheduled visits this week with the Lions.