Baalke: 49ers don't need Gore to take pay cut

Baalke: 49ers don't need Gore to take pay cut
February 21, 2014, 8:00 am
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Frank Gore is scheduled to make $6.45 million in 2014, the final year of his 49ers contract. (AP)

Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco is on the ground in Indianapolis to cover the NFL Combine. Check back for his coverage all weekend and get the full report on SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Running back Frank Gore, who turns 31 in May, is coming off one of his best seasons of his nine-year career.

But with a scheduled salary of $6.45 million for the final year of his contract, there has been speculation that the 49ers might ask him to take a pay cut. General manager Trent Baalke on Friday said the team does not have to ask Gore to reduce his salary.

“We’re in good shape from the cap’s standpoint, so the decision on that (is) there’s really no decision to be made,” Baalke said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We can move forward exactly as is, if that’s what we choose to do.”

The 49ers are expected to be approximately $11 million under the projected $130 million salary cap. However, the 49ers will look to re-sign some of their free agents, fill some other spots in free agency and add a draft class.

[RELATED: 49ers have $11 million in cap space]

Baalke said the 49ers evaluate each situation individually before making decisions on how to handle player contracts.

“Our focus is on doing what’s right for the team,” Baalke said. “It always is. That’s what we’re going to continue to do is do what’s in the best interest of everyone involved and the team comes first.”

Coach Jim Harbaugh rated Gore’s performance in 2013 as “A-plus-plus.” Gore played 75 percent of the 49ers’ offensive snaps -- the most since 2006, his second season in the league and first as a starter. Gore gained 1,128 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He was also outstanding in blitz pickup.

“How can you argue with the statistics?” Baalke said. “And he brings so much more to the team than the stats. Frank is an extremely passionate guy and loves the game of football and loves the organization. He’s everything you’re looking for from a DNA standpoint. He’s an awfully good football player and he’s a great teammate.”