It has been speculation for a couple of years now, but Frank Gore doesn't listen to those who believes he is going to call it quits. He's had a great career -- Hall of Fame worthy -- but he's just not done yet.
That's why Gore signed a one-year deal with the Jets this year, setting him up to play his 16th year in the NFL. It wasn't that hard of a decision to make, as he told media on Thursday during a Zoom conference call that he knew from his play last season he still had something left in the tank.
His son, Frank Gore Jr., thought so as well.
"I asked my son what he thinks I should do," Gore said. "My oldest son, he's going to be in college this year, he was like 'Dad, I think you can go one more.' So I said I'll go."
And why head to New York? There were multiple factors that led to that decision, but the foundation of it revolved around playing for head coach Adam Gase again.
Their relationship stems back to his third year in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. Gase was a quarterbacks coach, and Gore quickly formed a bond with a coach he believed to be "very smart." Gase also lived up to his word, telling Gore that whenever he became a head coach, he'd want him to play for him.
When Gase got the job in Miami with the Dolphins, that's exactly what happened two seasons ago.
"He always told me whenever he got a head job he wanted me to play for his team again. He stuck by his word and brought me to Miami," Gore said.
Gase has already told Gore to "come in and be the guy I've always been." And that guy is someone players and coaches alike rave about as being a great locker room guy that truly sets the tone for others around him. Whether it's giving tips on the practice field, showing up early to the facility or just working his heart out, Gore is the epitome of a team player who just wants the best out of himself and his teammates.
And Gore sees a lot of that within Le'Veon Bell, another main reason he joined Gang Green. Bell works out down in Florida during the offseason just like Gore, so they are familiar with each other. Gore said he can't wait to work with Bell -- even if it is as a backup.
"I've been knowing Le'Veon since he was a rookie, when he was coming into the league and at the combine," Gore said. "It will be fun, man. I've been around a bunch of talented running backs in my career, college and NFL. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help him and help the other guys."
Having a young quarterback like Sam Darnold handing the ball off to him had its effects as well.
"[Darnold] reached out to me and I'm a guy who, you know, every time the draft comes up I love it -- hearing about the young stars especially my position. A lot of people said he's very smart and even Josh Allen talked very highly about him, too. Can't wait to get around him and show him why I'm able to play this game."
And finally, it isn't just offense. While in Miami, Gore made sure to hunt down Jamal Adams to get his jersey because he simply loved the way he played the game. Now, he can't wait to go up against him in practice everyday.
"I think he's an old-school player. I love the way he plays the game," Gore said.
All of these factors wouldn't have come into play if Gore didn't believe he still had what it took to play at the highest level. And his new teammates will see that the first day the Jets are allowed to return to Florham Park to start practicing for the new season.
Gore knows his impact will be felt immediately.
"Once I get out there, the way I work and [the Jets] see the way I work at my age, it's going to help this team a lot," he said.