San Francisco 49ers
Gore apparently -- and correctly, in my view -- realizes teams won't be lining up to pay him lavishly at that time.
That's the best explanation for Gore's decision to hold out when the 49ers open training camp Thursday, as ESPN's Adam Schefter says Gore plans to do.
A few facts and opinions:
Gore's contract pays him $2.9 million in salary with a $2 million roster bonus this season. His cap number is $7.1 million thanks to more than $2.1 million in bonus proration. The deal averages $6.9 million.
The 49ers need Gore. Finding a way to resolve this issue and get Gore on the field will serve the team well. But there's no way the 49ers can give into Gore's demands while general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh are still establishing themselves. This is a chance for Baalke, Harbaugh and the 49ers to take a stand. Gore will show up eventually.
Running backs tend to wind down near age 30. Gore missed the final five games to injury last season. This was going to be his final big-money contract, most likely.
Gore will take heat publicly if he does stay away, I predict. His timing is poor following the lockout. Fans love Gore, but it's tough for some to relate to someone turning up his nose at millions.
Gore's agent is Drew Rosenhaus, who has experience taking these things public. I'm not expecting any driveway news conferences, however.
This is no way for the Harbaugh era to begin on the field, but he's in it for the long haul. He'll be there long after Gore is there. The 49ers have been talking all along about the long term. I doubt they'll cave to short-term demands here, even for a highly-respected player such as Gore.