Taking sides on Frank Gore's holdout

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
9:02
PM ET
Justin from New York describes himself as a huge San Francisco 49ers fan and a big Frank Gore supporter to this point, but he's baffled by news that Gore plans to hold out for a new contract. Justin asks whether the 49ers could sue Gore for breach of contract.

Mike Sando: The 49ers won't need the courts on this one. They can simply withhold payment from Gore as long as he stays away. Gore presumably approached the 49ers about a new deal, did not get the answer he sought and reacted accordingly. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has recently played up Gore's return to health following a hip injury. For Gore to stay away from camp seems out of character -- he loves the game -- but Rosenhaus might see this as a strong leverage play.

I understand both positions here. Gore is entering the final year of his contract and will be too old (29) one year from now to cash in on a lucrative long-term deal. He'd like some security and an ability to finish his career with San Francisco. The 49ers will want to avoid setting a dangerous precedent by ceding to a player's public demands.

Quite a few running backs will be hitting the market as unrestricted free agents or cap casualties. The 49ers could put pressure on Gore by bringing them through team headquarters for visits. The team might be wise to do that anyway, given Gore's injury troubles last season.

The 49ers are in this for the long haul with a first-year head coach. Gore's window will close before the 49ers' window will close.

Perhaps the 49ers can find a creative way to show Gore the respect he has earned without compromising principles.

Staying away from camp could buy extra recovery time for Gore. Is he as healthy as Rosenhaus indicated? The 49ers won't know for sure until Gore reports to camp.

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