The 49ers don’t want to let kicker Robbie Gould get away. Keeping the pending free agent may require using the franchise tag, and that’s a step they’re prepared to take, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. In fact, Maiocco expects them to slap the tag on Gould when the window officially opens on Tuesday.
The 49ers haven’t used the tag since 2012 when they kept safety Dashon Goldson from exploring the open market. Last year, they considered tagging franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but they avoided that step altogether by inking him to a (briefly) record-setting five-year extension.
In this case, the tag would set some parameters for a future deal and allow the two sides to negotiate between now and the summer deadline. Tagging a kicker is not especially common, but there are no other candidates in SF for the designation this year. The tag for Gould would be roughly $5MM for this season and Gould’s camp would likely be amenable to a longer-term deal at a slightly lower AAV.
Gould has nailed 72 of 75 field goal attempts over the last two years with the Niners and he ranks as the second-most accurate kicker in league history. It’s especially impressive when considering that Gould has spent eleven of his 14 seasons kicking out of Soldier Field with the Bears.
For his part, Gould has spoken highly of the 49ers organization.
“It’s been a really, really awesome two years here,” Gould said in December. “Obviously, the records haven’t been what people might think they’d be. But as an older player, you can understand what they’re building. You can understand what it looks like, just because you’ve seen all types of situations in the last 14 years. I think these young guys getting playing time is something that we need for next year because if we didn’t have it this year, and it just so happens to start next year, some of those mistakes that could be made … can cost you a football game.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.