Former 49ers kicker Robbie Gould elects to hang up his cleats and retire

While his tenure with the Niners was controversial at times, Robbie Gould was nevertheless one of the franchise's best kickers during that same timeframe.
San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould
San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

While initially being open to signing somewhere in 2023, former 49ers kicker Robbie Gould is instead deciding to retire.

One of the San Francisco 49ers' best specialists of all time is calling it a career.

Veteran kicker Robbie Gould, whom the Niners elected not to re-sign last offseason, is deciding to retire in an announcement he made via The Player's Tribune on Thursday.

In it, Gould described the decisions that led him to close out the NFL-playing portion of his 18-year career:

"And now? Lucky me. My favorite team has been waiting for me at home to join them full-time — no contract needed. I’m excited to be more present with my family and to focus all of my attention on what matters to me outside of football."

Hard to fault that. Especially considering Gould would stay in a Bay Area hotel room away from his family for a good chunk of time when he was with San Francisco.

Robbie Gould's career legacy with the 49ers is pretty epic

While Gould spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago Bears and still very much views himself as a Chicagoan first and foremost, which helps explain why that game-winning playoff kick against the Green Bay Packers in January of 2022 was so special, joining the 49ers in 2017 paralleled the franchise's turnaround under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

The Niners spent big money on Gould, too, agreeing to a four-year, $19 million extension back in 2019 that followed a rather odd holdout and the use of a franchise tag.

Lots of money for a kicker. However, San Francisco didn't appear to mind spending that kind of dough on a reliable specialist, who made 87.5 percent of his field-goal tries with the 49ers during the regular season but never once missed during the playoffs.

And that includes his time with Chicago and the New York Giants, too.

Nevertheless, the Niners opted to draft Gould's replacement in 2023, former Michigan placekicker Jake Moody, in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. And despite some early struggles from the rookie, there was no real notion of panic that would be enough for San Francisco to re-sign Gould, still a free agent at the time.

Gould's 87.5 regular-season field-goal percentage ranks second all time in 49ers franchise history for kickers who have played at least 16 games with the team, and he accounted for a total of 704 points scored during those regular-season contests dating back to 2017.

That's pretty notable, and Gould will go down as one of the Niners' best kickers of all time.

Enjoy retirement, Robbie.

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