There are plenty of questions for the Buffalo Bills at running back heading into free agency, starting with whether or not the team will re-sign C.J. Spiller. (Things don't sound promising.) As speculation continues, and contract negotiations intensify (or don't), the Bills would look to add depth at the position should Spiller leave Buffalo.
Frank Gore could prove to be a popular option based on his success with Greg Roman in San Francisco over the past four seasons. There is plenty to like about Gore, including the fact that three of his five trips to the Pro Bowl came with Roman as his offensive coordinator. With expectations that Rex Ryan will rely heavily on the run game, Gore could enter the free agent discussion for the Bills come March 10.
Over his 10-year NFL career, Gore has proven to be one of the most successful backs in the NFL. With over 11,000 yards rushing, 342 catches, and 75 touchdowns in his 10-year career, Gore has laid the foundation that could ultimately lead to enshrinement in Canton. He is a punishing runner that averages 4.5 yards per carry, and has been incredibly dependable, only missing 10 games throughout his career (and none over the last four seasons).
While many expected Gore to be unseated by rookie Carlos Hyde in 2014, he kept a firm grip on the starting job with 255 carries for over 1,100 yards rushing. Gore finished the season on an incredibly high note, with a 158-yard rushing performance against San Diego in Week 16, and 144 yards on the ground against Arizona in the season finale.
When it comes to NFL running backs, Gore is what they call the "wrong side of 30." He will turn 32 this offseason, and after 10 productive seasons his statistics will eventually start to take a dip. Having Gore and Fred Jackson over the age of 30 could prove to be too much of a risk for a Bills team that will rely heavily on the run game in 2015.
With that being said, it is difficult to find much else to classify as "bad" with such an established professional like Gore.
Despite his age, the Bills could look to Gore as a viable addition to the backfield in 2015. Should Spiller depart, adding Gore would provide the team with a power back that has had years of success in Roman's offense. Rather than rely on a rookie back or the relatively unproven Bryce Brown, the Bills could team Gore with the aforementioned Jackson and Anthony Dixon to provide a punishing backfield trio.
As most within the organization see the Bills being on the brink of the playoffs, a proven back like Gore could be a valuable addition, while allowing the team to address other needs in May's NFL Draft.