New Colts head coach Frank Reich and GM Chris Ballard wasted no time on the first day of the NFL Combine to tell the media that they have met with and told veteran RB Frank Gore that he will not be re-signed for 2018. This is after his original three year $12 million dollar deal has expired leaving the 14,000+ yard rusher, as an unrestricted free agent.
What will this mean for the Colts backfield in the future? More on that in a moment.
First, here are Reich and Ballard paying tribute to Gore and the job he did for the Colts since 2015:
"I want to give Frank a chance to go see what’s out there."
Hear from Frank Reich and Chris Ballard on Frank Gore's future: pic.twitter.com/Xmz4MolJmG
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) March 1, 2018
Gore made $3.5 million in the final year of the deal, and clearly is in the final stage of his career. The former Miami Hurricanes and 49ers star may have some market value come next week, but at 34 years old, it may also be the end for him.
As for the Colts, this is one of the reasons that Ballard drafted Mack, the former USF Bulls all time leading rusher, in the fourth round a year ago. He had 358 yards rushing and an additional 225 yards receiving in 2017. Mack has explosiveness, and appears to be in position to get a real shot at playing time.
Then again, Reich was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia last year, and he hasn’t seen Mack or had him in his system, yet.
And more importantly, the Colts were awful last year and have the third overall pick upcoming in the draft.
They very likely could use that pick on Penn State All-American RB Saquon Barkley, who would then supplant Mack and everyone else, as the obvious choice to be the feature back.
Then again, the Colts also need defensive help and offensive line help and could go another direction at three overall.
They also may look to find a veteran (younger than Gore) running back in free agency starting next week.
If they do, then Mack would still have competition, but there wouldn’t be the same battle, as if you were taking someone like Barkley.
We will see how the Colts proceed.
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