Robbie Gould has asked to be traded, but stopped just short of asking the Chicago Bears to make that deal.
It’s rare for a kicker to get the franchise tag, but that’s what the San Francisco 49ers did with Robbie Gould. But negotiations on a long-term deal seem to not be going well, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the veteran kicker has “pulled his contract proposals” and would like to be traded.
On Monday, in the wake of their reported interest in Stephen Gostkowski, 49ers’ general manager John Lynch told reporters Gould would be on the team in 2019.
Over his two seasons with the 49ers, Gould has made 96 percent of his field goals (72-for-75). He’s also entering his age-37 season, so a significant multi-year commitment is not smart from a team’s perspective. But one team stands out as a suitor for Gould.
According to Schefter, Gould has grown weary of contract negotiations with the 49ers and wants to be closer to his wife and kids in Chicago. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Bears, before being cut. He spent 2016 with the New York Giants, before the last two seasons in San Francisco.
The Bears made the obvious move to cut Cody Parkey, after the infamous playoff “double doink” and multiple dented uprights during another game at Soldier Field last year. They’ve added a few castoffs with no NFL experience to the offseason roster, Redford Jones, Chris Blewitt and most recently AAF refugee Elliott Fry, for what can only be called an uninspiring kicker competition.
Over his 11 seasons with the Bears, Gould made 85.4 percent of his field goals (276-for-323), with 36 of those 47 misses coming from 40 or more yards out. Narrowing strictly to outdoor games, he is 287-for-331 in his career as a whole (86.7 percent). Narrowing further to his home games in Chicago, he converted at a 83.2 percent clip (139-for-167) over his first stint with the Bears.
Gould wants to be closer to, if not actually in, Chicago as his career nears the end. The Bears need a capable, proven kicker. It’s as if the move was obvious a couple months ago, and now the path to a reunion couldn’t be any clearer.