The 49ers are loaded in the backfield right now, but it’s possible that one big-time back could be looking to join them.
Via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis posted a photo of himself and Jaguars running Maurice Jones-Drew onto Instagram, with the caption “Me and Maurice Jones Drew discussing the FUTURE a few nights ago. #San Francisco.’’
While that’s not “hastagtampering,” it is an interesting idea. The 49ers have an expensive veteran in Frank Gore ($6.45 million in salary) in front of several young prospects, and there were suggestions earlier this offseason that Gore could be a salary cap casualty.
But General Manager Trent Baalke took great pains at the Scouting Combine to say that didn’t necessarily have to be the case.
“The simple answer is there’s no reason it can’t be,” Baalke replied when asked if Gore’s numbers were compatible with the cap. “We’re in good shape from the cap’s standpoint, so the decision on that [is] there’s really no decision to be made. We can move forward exactly as is, if that’s what we choose to do.”
Gore handled 75 percent of last year’s offensive snaps, but they have redshirt Marcus Lattimore and Kendall Hunter in reserve, along with LaMichael James.
If they choose to move away from the 30-year-old Gore, the 28-year-old Jones-Drew would likely love to join forces with Davis.
He’s from the Bay Area, and after languishing in mediocrity or worse in Jacksonville, would likely welcome a chance to join a contender.
But that would require several moving parts, and probably moving one high-priced back out. And if the 49ers want to beat Gore’s salary down to a more palatable number, having guys volunteering to take his place probably won’t hurt.