San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore knows the fans in the Bay Area love him.
He's just not so certain San Francisco management feels the same way.
"I know the fans love me," he wrote, then deleted from his Instagram account Sunday, "but I need to know if the management does but I'm going to love my fans no matter what."
49ers GM Trent Baalke has stated his preference that Gore remain with the only NFL franchise he's ever called home, but with Gore set to hit unrestricted free agency come March, conversations between the two sides seem to be almost nonexistent.
That may change at the NFL Scouting Combine this week.
"The 49ers' top negotiator, team president Paraag Marathe, will be in Indianapolis this week for the annual scouting combine," writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. "That's typically where deals between teams and agents are discussed. Gore's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, represents a number of prominent 49ers, including linebacker NaVorro Bowman and tackle Anthony Davis."
The soon-to-be 32-year-old Gore rushed for over 1,000 yards last season - the eighth time in his 10-year career he has achieved that feat. While talk of Gore's exit from San Francisco has come up in previous seasons, this may finally be the year it actually happens.
Gore made $6.5 million each of the last two seasons - a high number for an aging running back, even one has productive as Gore - and the team has high former draft pick Carlos Hyde awaiting his first NFL opportunity.
"Hyde has a rare combination of size and agility, and his style seems to mesh well with the stretch-run style blocking new offensive line coach Chris Foerster used effectively when he was in Washington," writes Barrows. "For all his talents, however, Hyde averaged 4.0 yards on 83 carries last season. Gore, who is eight years older, averaged 4.3 yards on 255 attempts."
The 49ers cleaned house on their coaching staff this offseason, jettisoning the grating Jim Harbaugh and bringing in everyman, Jim Tomsula.
What direction Tomsula and Baalke elect to take with a fan-favorite and locker-room leader like Gore will speak volumes about their future tenure in San Francisco.