Tim Hightower given Frank Gore's old No. 21 with 49ers, says he'll give it back out of respect

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/8926/" data-ylk="slk:Tim Hightower">Tim Hightower</a> said he’ll give back <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/7241/" data-ylk="slk:Frank Gore">Frank Gore</a>’s No. 21 with the 49ers out of respect. (AP)
Tim Hightower said he’ll give back Frank Gore’s No. 21 with the 49ers out of respect. (AP)

Only a few select NFL players get their numbers retired. No matter how odd it is to see, say, Mike Singletary’s No. 50 on anyone else with the Chicago Bears or someone on the Oakland Raiders wearing Tim Brown’s old No. 81, life in the NFL moves on.

Tim Hightower got Frank Gore’s old No. 21 with the San Francisco 49ers, but he thought it should stay out of commission for a little while longer. So he said he’ll give it back, out of respect for Gore.

In an instagram post (h/t to Can Inman of the San Jose Mercury News), Hightower with a series of hashtags said the 49ers should retire Gore’s number, and even though he was given No. 21, it #willbechanged.

The time is now!!! #faithful #thankful #brickbybrick #purposedriven #numbertheygaveme #willbechanged much respect to @fg2132 #legend #numbershouldberetired

A post shared by Tim Hightower (@tim_hightower) on Apr 10, 2017 at 7:15am PDT

Hightower signed with the 49ers this season, after reviving his career the last two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Hightower was out of football for three seasons before that.

Gore is a 49ers legend. He’s the all-time leading rusher in team history, and his toughness and productivity set the tone for the 49ers during his 10 seasons there. Gore has spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, and rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season. Nobody has worn No. 21 on the 49ers the last two seasons. As Inman notes in his report, the 49ers have a new equipment manager this year.

Hightower has mostly worn No. 34 in his career, but that’s retired in San Francisco for Hall of Fame running back Joe Perry. Hightower thinks Gore’s No. 21 should be the next 49ers number retired, and it’s safe to say many fans agree with him.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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