(97.1 The Ticket) Frank Gore arrived in Detroit late Wednesday night for a visit with the Lions, according to ESPN, and the two sides are reportedly close to a deal.
The Lions seem intent on signing a veteran power back in free agency, and Gore certainly fits that mold. The 13-year vet averaged just under 1,000 yards over the last three seasons with the Colts and hasn’t missed a game in six years. His yards per carry dipped to a career-low 3.7 in 2017, but he remains a between-the-tackles bull.
Still, there are other options on the Lions’ radar, including ex-Titan DeMarco Murray, who visited with the team earlier this week. In addition, LeGarrette Blount is scheduled to meet with the Lions on Friday, according to ESPN.
Blount, 31, still runs as hard as anyone in the NFL, coming off a season in which he averaged 4.4 yards per carry with the Eagles. The season before that, he piled up a whopping 18 touchdowns with the Patriots.
The Lions flirted with Blount in free agency last year, but nothing came to fruition. Both Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia know Blount well from their time together in New England, and Blount is a big fan of Detroit’s new head coach.
For Detroit, Blount’s appeal may be somewhat diminished by his history of behavioral issues. The team looks prepared to add another running back in the draft, and surely envisions the veteran within that positional group — whoever it may be — serving as a mentor to the rookie. Blount may not be suited for that role.
On the flip side, Gore feels like a perfect fit. He’s drawn nothing but rave reviews for his work ethic, practice habits and attitude over his Hall-of-Fame career. He’s also a terrific pass blocker and steady pass-catcher, making him a model of the ideal running back.
Gore ran for 961 yards last year, which would have ranked first on the Lions by a mile. Detroit finished last in the NFL in rushing for the second time in the past three seasons.