Report: Frank Gore changes mind on deal

PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly's first offseason as the Philadelphia Eagles' player personnel chief took a turn for the bizarre Monday night.

Running back Frank Gore, who agreed to terms of a contract with Philadelphia on Sunday, changed his mind. Like other free agents, Gore cannot formalize a contract with a new team until Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The talks between the Eagles and Gore came during the NFL's so-called "legal tampering" period. Because teams and agents so routinely violated the league's tampering rules in the days before free agency began, the legal period was meant to give everyone three days to feel each other out and discuss possibilities.

The three-day period was busy this year, with stories leaking of contract agreements being reached. Ndamukong Suh agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins, Byron Maxwell agreed to terms with the Eagles, and so on. Gore, who spent 10 years with the San Francisco 49ers, agreed to terms with the Eagles on Sunday.

But, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported, Gore reconsidered his choice and decided to pursue other options, possibly with the Indianapolis Colts. Without a signed contract, he was never actually with the Eagles.

Still, the whole situation looks bad. Gore looks indecisive and unreliable. The Eagles appear to have lost their third noteworthy free agent in 24 hours. Former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin decided to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, and New England safety Devin McCourty considered an offer from the Eagles, but decided to stay with the Patriots.

And now Gore will not be an Eagle.

That leaves the Eagles without an obvious primary running back to replace LeSean McCoy. Of course, that is the risk the Eagles took by trading McCoy to Buffalo before they had obtained a replacement. Still, Philadelphia can look to the free-agent market or the draft for another back.

If the Eagles are looking for a veteran such as Gore, they could consider Pierre Thomas, who was released by New Orleans, or Reggie Bush, who was cut loose by Detroit. Buffalo's C.J. Spiller and Baltimore's Justin Forsett are also due to become free agents Tuesday.

Gore's style of running seemed like a good fit for Kelly's offense, but there are other backs who will hit the hole quickly and continue downfield who aren't as prone to lateral moves as McCoy has been.

Running backs do not often age well in the NFL. Gore has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the past four consecutive seasons, but his decline is inevitable. The Eagles might have dodged a bullet with Gore deciding to look elsewhere.