Running back Frank Gore has agreed to a 4-year contract extension with San Francisco, a reward for his team-record 1,695 yards rushing last season.
Gore, who led the NFC in rushing in his second season, was due to earn $435,000 in the upcoming season. With the extension, the Pro Bowl running back will be under contract to the 49ers through 2011 with a deal containing more than $14 million in guaranteed money.
Niners coach Mike Nolan confirmed the deal yesterday morning at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.
"He agreed yesterday," Nolan said. "He had a good day.
"It's a little early. Frank just finished his second year. But we identified somebody we want in Frank. He's a young player and we wanted to extend it and it's still very early in his career."
Gore was the heart of the 49ers' offense last season, setting franchise records for yards rushing, total yards from scrimmage (2,180) and for single-game rushing with his 212-yard performance against Seattle.
After a football career dotted by injuries, Gore started all 16 games for the 49ers last season and was selected to start in his first Pro Bowl. The former University of Miami star had reconstructive surgery on both knees in college, followed by major surgery on both shoulders after his rookie season with the Niners.
But Gore was remarkably durable while averaging 5.4 yards per carry last year. His low-to-the-ground running style delighted fans and frustrated defenses as he surpassed the best seasons by former San Francisco stars Roger Craig, Ricky Watters and Garrison Hearst.
The 49ers worried about their ability to retain Gore when he hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who reportedly told the team that Gore should be the NFL's highest-paid player. That won't happen, but the club reached an agreement that could keep Gore in San Francisco for five more seasons.
"He had an outstanding year," Nolan said. "For us, it was not a fluke that he had such a good year. It's not like he lucked into it."
* A judge gave Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall permission to travel out of state after an arrest on suspicion of domestic violence and false imprisonment.
Marshall was arrested Monday near Denver. A woman who said Marshall was her boyfriend told authorities they had argued and that Marshall had blocked her taxi with his vehicle when she tried to leave his home. The woman had no injuries, a Douglas County (Colo.) sheriff's spokeswoman said.
* Veteran receiver Troy Brown, 35, acknowledged that he had offseason knee surgery, after saying in an earlier interview that he intends to play next season and hopes to finish his career with New England.
* Macon County (Ill.) Judge Katherine McCarthy ruled this week that Chicago Bears fan Scott Wiese can't legally call himself Peyton Manning because it would be too confusing and might infringe on the privacy of the Indianapolis quarterback. Weise, 26, was trying to change his name to make good on a bet he lost when the Colts beat the Bears in the Super Bowl.
* The New York Jets agreed to terms on a 3-year contract with free-agent defensive end David Bowens, his agent told the Associated Press.