49ers Say Goodbye to Frank Gore, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis


A dark cloud has hovered over the San Francisco 49ers this entire offseason. It began back in December when the team “mutually parted ways” with Jim Harbaugh, and Harbaugh went to coach at the University of Michigan.

Less than three months later, it appears the 49ers may lose three key players to the team: Frank Gore,  Justin Smith and Patrick Willis are likely out the door and leaving 49er faithfuls broken-hearted and angry at the organization.

On Sunday, it was reported that Gore will sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are offering a three-year deal, according to Adam Shefter and Adam Caplan of ESPN.

On Monday morning, new reports came out that Gore is “reconsidering” his deal with Eagles and may instead sign with the Indianapolis Colts, according to Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports. Gore is the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher and has rushed over 1,000 yards in the eight seasons of his career.

More bad news came when sources said defensive lineman, Smith, was set to retire. However, there are reports saying Smith is not “100 percent” about retiring, according to Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows.

"“I’m going to decide by next week probably,” Smith said. “So you’ll know by then. It’s not 100 percent.”"

If he returned, Smith would be entering his 15th season in the NFL. Last season, he had 43 tackles, five sacks and two fumbles.

But the most shocking news was about linebacker Willis, who is set to announce his retirement on Tuesday. Willis spent eight season playing in the NFL (all with the 49ers). Last season, Willis appeared in six games, but his season ended with a broken toe. Since being drafted in 2007, Willis is the only 49ers player to be selected for the Pro Bowl seven times in a row.

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Of course, this news is upsetting to 49ers fans who watched these players and admired them throughout the years. Fans are displeased with CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baakle and their poor decisions this offseason. 49ers fans are demanding York and Baakle’s head on a silver platter. Season-ticket holders at Levi’s stadium are questioning purchasing tickets for the 2015 season.

It’s hard to believe the 49ers have been to three NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl in the last four years.

The 49ers are about to lose the heart and soul of the team. Gore, Smith and Willis are the most respected players on and off the field. They are the ones that bring leadership in the locker room and get the team pumped up before the game starts. All of these players have made an impact on this 49ers team and are loved by fans. They are the faces of the 49ers franchise. Now, it seems Gore, Smith and Willis will only be a memory.

Without these three individuals, the team will never be the same.

Next: Frank Gore: The End of the Inconvenient Truth

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