The San Francisco 49ers are likely to make re-signing kicker Robbie Gould a priority entering 2019. But there’s a good chance he’ll want to play elsewhere this year.
After inking a two-year free-agent deal with the Niners in 2017, Gould has been all but automatic his last two seasons, even converting on an NFL-leading 97.1 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2018.
His deal now expiring, re-signing Gould should be one of San Francisco’s chief items on its offseason to-do list.
But will it happen?
The 36-year-old kicker appeared on Chicago’s 670 The Score Sunday afternoon and shed light on his future:
"Obviously, a long-term contract is something that I’d like to have. And then it comes down to, I want to win. I want to find the best place to give myself the opportunity to win the Super Bowl. So, there’s a handful of things that I’ll look into.I’ve made calculated decisions my whole career. I’m going to do the same thing whenever this decision that we have to make comes up."
You can listen to the entire interview below:
Gould, who spent 11 years with the Bears, has an obvious affinity for Chicago. His family lives there, and he even brought his children to a Bears playoff game after the 49ers season was done.
The Bears are certainly closer to a Super Bowl crown than the Niners right now, and all that transpired with kicker Cody Parkey in Chicago’s 2019 playoff exit would seem to prompt a would-be reunion between Gould and the Bears.
San Francisco, of course, has made numerous overtures about bringing Gould back. Back at the 2019 Senior Bowl in January, however, The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reported the two sides “weren’t close” in terms of striking a new deal:
The 49ers do have the option of placing a franchise tag on Gould, which would cost roughly $5 million for one season. Franchise tags are tricky, though, and it’s not uncommon to see them strain the relationship between player and team.
Especially when Gould is looking for a long-term deal, as he indicated.
Another possibility is the Niners gracefully let Gould walk in free agency, giving him the chance to sign with his former squad, the Bears. That might be Gould’s reward from San Francisco after two years of near-perfect kicking.
Right now, it looks more and more as if Gould would prefer to go back home instead of staying with the 49ers this upcoming season.
Well, he’s certainly earned the right to have such sentiments.
h/t to 49ers Webzone’s Al Sacco for the find.
Update: NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco is reporting the Niners are likely to use the franchise tag on Gould if they can’t reach an extension.