Just this week, Bears fans in Chicago – still concerned by erratic kicker Cody Parkey – were asking the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs in a mailbag column if their favorite franchise will bring back Robbie Gould.
Ever since Parkey missed a field goal in the playoffs to seal a loss, Bears backers have been dreaming about signing Gould, the 49ers kicker who could become an unrestricted free agent. Gould, after all, was the Bears' very successful kicker from 2005 through 2015, and still lives in the Chicago area in the offseason.
But Biggs had a message for Bears fans: Gould isn’t coming back.
“Even if they want to pursue him, he will not make it to the open market if the 49ers use the franchise tag to secure his rights,” Biggs wrote. “I can’t think of a good reason for 49ers general manager John Lynch to not use the franchise tag.”
And, Biggs isn’t alone in his thinking.
ESPN’s Nick Wagoner predicted this week that the Niners would ideally like to re-sign Gould to a contract extension before the free agency period, but even if they aren’t able to, they’ll keep Gould.
Wrote Wagoner: “The franchise-tag number for kickers in 2019 is expected to come in somewhere around $5 million, a number the Niners can easily absorb, given they should have between $60 million and $70 million in cap space.”
Gould may be 36, but he’s as good as he’s ever been, and as the 49ers work this offseason to try to rebound from a horrible 4-12 season and get back to contending in the NFC West, they can’t allow their extremely reliable kicker to get away.
Gould has made 72-of-75 field-goal attempts in two seasons with the 49ers, including all six of his attempts from 50 or more yards.
For now, it appears Lynch won’t allow Gould to go anywhere – including Chicago.