Running back Frank Gore is hoping to get a new long-term deal from the San Francisco 49ers before the season opener.
Such a commitment would not be unprecedented from a franchise that rewarded All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis last year and then tight end Vernon Davis on the eve of the 2010 opener at Seattle.
Gore's situation is slightly different considering the 28-year-old two-time Pro Bowler missed the final five games last season with a fractured right hip sustained in a Monday night game at Arizona on Nov. 29.
But don't tell Gore that he is getting old. The running back insists he feels as young as he looks.
“I feel like the 22-year-old Frank Gore," he told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "I’m ready to take the load, ready to play. I feel like I can score any time I touch the ball. I can block anybody I’ve got to block.”
Gore certainly will seek a contract comparable to the $43 million, five-year deal Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams — 20 days older than Gore — recently received from the Panthers.