Colts Sign Frank Gore
Frank Gore pulled the old bait-and-switch maneuver during the conversation-only window of this year’s free agency. Over the weekend, he reportedly planned on signing with the Eagles, but had a last-second change of head, and opted instead to join the AFC South division champions. On Tuesday, the first day of free agency, the Colts signed Gore to a three-year deal worth $12 million.
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Gore will provide the Colts the consistent, high-level rushing production that Trent Richardson has failed to deliver since being acquired in 2013. In 2014, Gore – a five-time Pro Bowler – had his fourth straight 1,000-yard-rushing season, graded at +1.8 as a runner, and averaged 4.2 yards per carry (YPC) – which puts Richardson’s 3.2 YPC to shame. Even at 32, Gore is a good bet to continue this level of production in 2015, as his downhill running style is a great match for the Colts’ power run concepts.
Additionally, Gore has been a reliable pass protector for the majority of his career, and that will help keep him on the field during some of the passing downs. Gore won’t be a workhorse back, but like in San Francisco, he’ll be busy. At this time, Richardson is expected to be absent from the picture, and Ahmad Bradshaw’s future is unknown. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard – both reliable backs – are expected to share a chunk of the workload with Gore.
If Gore pans out as the productive rushing chain-mover that the Colts have been missing in recent years – which we believe he will – the pass-heavy Colts figure to operate a slightly more balanced offense. Gore figures to steal a few scoring opportunities from Andrew Luck and the team’s receivers, but the impact would be offset by an increase in offensive efficiency and additional overall scoring opportunities.
Individually, Gore is projected to have 249 carries for 1,025 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground next season. In the passing game, he is projected to have 30 receptions for 266 yards and two touchdowns. This makes him a low-end RB2.
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