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Contract projection: Frank Gore could come cheaply at 37

We have a couple contracts Gore could sign.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Frank Gore was added to the Buffalo Bills roster a year ago and we were all wondering why the running-back room was getting older, not younger. With LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory on board, they had veterans but they needed young blood. Fast forward a couple months, and the Bills added Devin Singletary and jettisoned both McCoy and Ivory.

With Gore signing a one-year deal last offseason, his contract is up. Heading into the season at age 37 coupled with a struggle down the stretch, it’s pretty likely the Bills will want to upgrade their RB2 position. But that doesn’t mean Gore couldn’t be re-signed for training camp or to be the third running back.

So let’s take a look at what the contract might look like for Gore.

Comparable player contracts

We’re going less on production and more on age at this point. Four 31-year-old or older running backs were under contract in 2019, including Marshawn Lynch who signed late in the year.

Frank Gore
1 year, $2 million including $500,000 guaranteed in 2019

The contract Gore signed a year ago included a $500,000 signing bonus, $250,000 workout bonus, and $1.25 million in salary. If he didn’t have it anymore, Buffalo would have been out just $750k if he was cut after training camp. I’d be okay with a similar set up in 2020.

Darren Sproles
1 year, $1.3 million including $900,000 guaranteed in 2019

Sproles has his contract structured differently. He received a $300,000 signing bonus but $600,000 of his salary was guaranteed. So it spread out the finances for the Philadelphia Eagles, though all of it came on the 2019 cap. He also had $650,000 available in incentives, which he did not achieve thanks to injury. If you add those incentives in, he signed a one-year, $2 million contract just like Gore.

Adrian Peterson
2 years, $5 million including $1.5 million guaranteed in 2019

At the tender age of 34, Peterson signed a longer-term deal than the 36-year-olds above did in 2019. His 2019 compensation was a $1.5 million signing bonus and $1 million in salary. That’s awfully similar to the $2 million the guys above signed for. In 2020, he’s scheduled to make $2.25 million on a team option along with a small roster bonus. Washington has to make up their mind on the option well before the league year starts, giving Peterson first crack at the free-agent market.

Contract projection

One year
$2 million including $500,000 guaranteed

Yeah, it’s the exact same contract he signed before. Sproles was slated to make up to $2 million. Gore made $2 million. Peterson made $2.5 million but is younger.

Structure it the same way as last year’s contract and then you’re out just $750,000 if he doesn’t make the team at the end of training camp. If you add a young running back in the draft to pair with Devin Singletary, Gore can continue to show the young guys the ropes and how to prep for at least a few months if not the whole season.

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