San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, shown Nov. 9, 2014, ends his NFL career as the league's third-leading rusher. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo
June 2 (UPI) -- The San Francisco 49ers announced Thursday that legendary running back Frank Gore signed a one-day contract to retire with the franchise that drafted him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
The Niners also said Gore will be inducted into the team's Edward DeBartolo Sr. Hall of Fame during a game this season. He will be the 31st member of the franchise's Hall of Fame.
"Frank had to overcome many challenges upon entering the NFL and now leaves the game not only as one of the best backs in NFL history, but one of the best football players ever," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Frank's 16-year NFL career is a testament to his durability, having played in more games than any other running back in league history.
"His grit, toughness and commitment to greatness earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and opponents. We knew this day would come when Frank would retire a 49er and we look forward to The Faithful celebrating his induction into the 49ers Hall of Fame in Levi's Stadium this upcoming season."
The 39-year-old Gore's official retirement comes after 16 seasons in the NFL, including 10 with the 49ers. During his time in San Francisco, he became the franchise leader in career rushing yards (11,703) and touchdowns (64), and his 13,956 yards from scrimmage are second only to Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice in team history.
Gore was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and earned second-team All-Pro honors in the 2006 season. He was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
All of those accolades came after the 49ers used the No. 65 overall pick in the 2005 draft to select Gore, who tore the ACL in his left knee twice while playing at the University of Miami.
"One of the very first things I told the 49ers organization when they drafted me in 2005 was that they got the right guy," Gore said. "I knew early on that I wouldn't let my college career define me in regard to injuries and that I would have to outwork a lot of people to get to where I wanted to be.
"After 10 years in San Francisco and 16 years in the NFL, I can confidently say that I put all I had into the game of football. Football was and is everything to me. From meetings and film study to practice and just being in the locker room, all of it meant the world to me.
"I am happy to officially close this chapter of my life and proud of what I was able to accomplish and the legacy I leave behind."
After departing the 49ers following the 2014 season, Gore spent three years with the Indianapolis Colts (2015-17). He also played for the Miami Dolphins (2018), Buffalo Bills (2019) and New York Jets (2020). He didn't play in the 2021 campaign.
Gore ends his NFL career as the league's third-leading rusher, compiling 16,000 yards on 3,735 carries. Both of those totals trail only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton in NFL history.
Gore will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2026.