While we wonder if the Giants might soon be ready to move on to a new quarterback not named Eli Manning, others are wondering if the 49ers might soon be ready to move on to a new running back not named Frank Gore.

The inconvenient truth is that while Gore is supremely talented, injuries have slowed him down. The convenient truth for the Niners is that the former Miami star is only 27 and makes great trade bait. ESPN’s Mike Sando:

Parting with Gore would be tough, but this might be the time to get value for him. Gore is entering the final year of his contract amid durability concerns. He turns 28 this offseason and will be 29 heading into his next contract, a dangerous age for running backs with high miles. The 49ers will have a hard time justifying an extension worthy of Gore’s many contributions to this point.

Gore’s carries have declined every season since he became a starter. I’d be surprised if he suddenly became more durable, or if he remained productive at age 30.

The obvious link to Gore trade rumours, of course, is Kevin Kolb. The Eagles quarterback is reportedly available, and the 49ers are in need of a franchise QB.

The problem is that with LeSean McCoy already in the stable, Philly probably has little to no interest in a guy like Gore. That means a third team would have to be involved. Unless the Niners turn their attention to Washington, where Donovan McNabb is probably available and their is a lack of talent at running back.

The point of the above paragraph: finding trading partners is an extremely tough task in the NFL, especially when we’re talking about declining running backs.

But Gore would drastically help a contender in 2011. After that, he’d lose a lot of value.