Veteran running back Frank Gore is heading into his 16th year in the NFL That has moved the conversation around his legacy as he has continued to prove to be an ageless wonder while he moves up the all-time rushing yards list. It has brought on a discussion about the San Francisco 49ers great’s chance of reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame years down the line after his eventual retirement from the league. All-time great running back Marshall Faulk has stayed on the path that he believes that Gore belongs in Canton. That is a notion that he has once again aired his strong feelings toward the subject.
Frank Gore’s NFL career
If there is one thing that stands out above the rest, it has been Gore‘s longevity in the NFL has he continues to showcase he can be a productive player.
The 37-year-old has seen his role diminish from what it once was as the workhorse running back, but he has maintained his ability to be a high-impact player.
That helped guide him to push himself alongside four Hall of Famers in Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Curtis Martin to record at least 1,000 rushing yards nine times. Gore also holds the all-time marks with 15 consecutive seasons with at least 400 rushing yards, with at least 500 yards (14 times) and at least 600 rushing yards (14 times). Gore is tied with Smith for the most consecutive seasons with at least 700 rushing yards.
His production has dropped off with age, but it didn’t prevent him from becoming one of four players to have 15,000 career rushing yards that have pushed him to third all-time behind Smith and Payton. Beyond that, it has put forth the conversation around his potential Hall of Fame chances.
Marshall Faulk thinks Frank Gore is a Hall of Famer
Many have pushed back at the notion that Gore is a Hall of Famer, but his longevity and numbers have grown hard to ignore.
That alone has guided Faulk to the belief that the five-time Pro Bowler deserves to belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (H/T NBC Sports Bay Area)
“If you can have a stellar short career and have some fantastic seasons like guys have had, and you let them in for that, then longevity at the position that we play has to get the same kind of — you have to look at it the same way,” Faulk said. “You have to look at longevity at the position. And here’s the reality — Frank wasn’t a guy that you were platooning. I mean, his days, you know, he was bell-cowing it. He’s the down-and-dirty guy. He’s not the run-outside, third-down back. No, he’s your hammer. He’s your hammer. And he’s consistently been that wherever he’s been.”
Gore has been the model of consistency as he has continued to produce wherever he goes in his career. Granted, it may no longer come at an elite level; his production has remained the same regardless of his role in the offensive game plan.
Is Frank Gore a Hall of Famer?
The discussion around Gore’s Hall of Fame candidacy will continue to remain around him for years to come.
He had already moved into prestigious territory being third all-time in rushing yards. There is no clarity about how much longer Gore will play. Still, he’s within earshot of testing Payton for second all-time being just under 1,400 yards away, which at his current production pace could take roughly two more seasons to hit that mark be with the New York Jets or another team.
Regardless of whether he moves up another spot, Gore has reached a mark that very few players had accomplished. Even if he doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame, he has put himself in the conversation to be heavily considered.