The San Francisco 49ers managed to negotiate a new deal with franchise-tagged kicker Robbie Gould just before the deadline. Time to take a deeper look at the contract.
The Niners slapped the franchise tag on Gould earlier this offseason, which created more than enough controversy about Gould’s future in San Francisco. Earlier, he even requested a trade, which the 49ers subsequently declined, and the two sides had until July 15 to work out a new deal.
Otherwise, Gould would have played 2019 on his fully guaranteed tag. If he didn’t hold out, of course.
But Gould and the Niners finally came to terms on a new deal just hours before the deadline, a two-year contract which could ultimately turn into a four-year deal.
"Financial terms were not disclosed, but league sources told ESPN it’s a two-year, $10.5 million fully guaranteed contract that, including an option clause, could turn into a four-year, $19 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.Gould’s deal, which his agent, Brian Mackler, and 49ers executive Paraag Marathe have been working on for months, reached a breakthrough over the weekend. At the start of the weekend, both sides thought it would be challenging to get it done, but they reached a compromise Sunday by installing an option clause.The 49ers have an option in which they can pick up the remaining two years on Gould’s contract by the 17th week of the 2020 season, per a source. To do that, the 49ers would have to fully guarantee Gould $2.25 million at that time, then another $2.25 million on April 1, 2021.The deal includes a $3 million signing bonus and a $3.15 million fully guaranteed base salary this season, then a fully guaranteed $4.35 million base salary in 2020, per a source. If the option is picked up, the deal would include a $4.5 million base salary in 2021 and a $4 million base salary in 2022."
Since signing bonuses are prorated, Gould’s 2019 contract earnings actually wind up being less than the near $5 million he would have made on the franchise tag. He will receive, however, that $10.5 million over the next two seasons, making Gould the highest-paid kicker in the NFL on an average-yearly salary basis.
“The big thing for me is that I wanted to be close to my family, and in the beginning, in the entire conversation with the 49ers, they knew it would have to take at least two years to fully guaranteed in a contract to get me to come back, and they were able to make that happen,” Gould told ESPN after the deal was done. “I know it’s been a crazy 17 months. There’s been a lot that’s happened, there’s been a lot that’s been said and done on both ends, but I’m glad it’s done, I’m glad we can put this behind us and I’m excited to play football and go win a championship.”
Gould led all NFL kickers last season with a 97.1 field-goal percentage, missing just once on his 34 tries.
And considering San Francisco finished dead last in red-zone touchdown efficiency last season, at least head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. won’t have to worry as much about a liability here on special teams.
The 49ers option to pick up Gould’s final two years could keep the veteran in a Niners uniform until he’s 40 years old.
But if age isn’t a factor — it hasn’t been for Gould since coming to San Francisco — the 49ers certainly seem happy to cross this particular worry off their list heading into 2019.