K Robbie Gould To Depart 49ers In Free Agency

The 49ers have enjoyed consistent production in the kicking game for the past six years, but a change will be coming in 2023. Robbie Gould indicated on Saturday that he will be leaving San Francisco and signing elsewhere as a free agent (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

The 40-year-old spent the first 11 years of his career in Chicago. It was in his second season in 2006 that he earned his lone Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, after he led the league in field goals made that year. His field goal percentage remained above 83% in nine of his campaigns in the Windy City, a tenure which was followed up by a partial season with the Giants in 2016.

Gould parlayed that into a two-year deal with the 49ers in the subsequent offseason. He once again led the league in made field goals in his first year as a 49er, then set a career-high in FG percentage in 2018 (97.1%, which topped the NFL). That figure dipped to a personal low of 74.2% the following year, but Gould still proved to be a solid investment across his two San Francisco contracts.

Overall, the Penn State alum has make 86.5% of his field goal attempts, which ranks tied for seventh in NFL history. Gould has also 97.5% of his extra point attempts, and routinely proved his worth in the postseason. He has made each of his 68 career playoff kicks (29 FG, 39 XPs) a stat which will no doubt boost his market in free agency. It also helps explain his desire to continue his career despite his age.

“I’m nowhere near retiring,” Gould said in February. “I got a lot left to do from a career perspective – No. 1 being winning a Super Bowl. And, two, I’m pretty close to a lot of milestones I think would be pretty neat to be able to accomplish.”

The franchise tag could have been an option for the 49ers, who used it in 2019 before ultimately agreeing on a four-year, $19MM deal with Gould. Doing so this offseason would have cost $5.39MM, however, and the team will instead look to a much less expensive option amidst their tight cap situation and list of other priorities. A draft pick (or UDFA signing in April) can be expected to replace Gould in San Francisco, though whoever fills his shoes will face significant expectations. The rest of the 49ers’ special teams battery – punter Mitch Wishnowsky and recently re-signed long snapper Taybor Pepper – are under contract for 2023.

View Comments (19)