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.
19 comments on “K Robbie Gould To Depart 49ers In Free Agency”
Come back to Chicago!
Nobody was better kicking in Soldiers Field. Nobody.
Yet Da Bears showed him no love.
The Bears canned him because he was their player rep and was( Maybe still is) High up in the Players Union hierarchy. He reported them for making workout violations and then was gone when he was at the top of his game. Then they paid more to a moron who cost them a playoff win and I’m still laughing. But we have New Team President and GM so I say come on home Bro! Our P does most of the kicking off anyway. Just need someone to make the solid EP and FG.
He said he wants to win a SB.
In the playoffs he’s good as Gould.
Nice,it’s easy to root for the guy with a “Goulden” foot…but now it will be just that much easier since he will no longer be a 49er.
I know cap space is tight, but skimping on a kicker who is literally perfect in postseason play to this date seems silly…
Not even a small sample size, either. 68 for 68 on the highest pressure kicks of the season…
He was having some issues lately kicking it short on kick offs though … it was causing some discernment sometimes last year near the end
Nobody knows Robbie Gould better than the 49ers and their doctor. There’s probably some hidden ageing, lingering strains which will catch up to Gould this season or next. Better not to be on the line for $15 million in guarantees if you think the roof is about to cave in.
I’m sure the 49ers would have been delighted to keep Gould on a team-friendly deal (slightly lower annual salary, no guarantees).
exactly bro exactly.
This isn’t the 49ers choice. He wants out and be by his family. Plenty of kickers are FA so the 49ers will get somebody more then capable of kicking.
In other 49ers’ rumors, I just read on Larry Brown Sports that Baker Mayfield is a possibility while Purdy and Lance are still recovering from injuries. How ironic would it be if a former #1 overall pick were brought in as a fill-in/backup for a former Mr. Irrelevant?
A former number 2 overall draft pick is currently the backup for mister irrelevant.
Actually, Lance is a former #3 overall pick as was the one (Darnold) whom the #2 overall pick from Lance’s draft (Wilson) replaced. That former #2 overall pick was benched behind a fifth rounder (White) and a UDFA (Streveler) and will continue to be a backup for the foreseeable future.
Robbie threatened to leave the Niners and run back home to Chicago a couple of seasons back so this is probably just more posturing. The Bears already have a solid kicker in Santos so they don’t need him. If Gould is interested in Super Bowls, Chicago is the last place he should consider.
Cairo was hurt and bad his 1st trip to Chicago. Then he came back and was lights out in 2021. Then last year was inconsistent especially on XP’s. I wouldn’t say he was a lock going forward though Lemon.
I’ve always been a strong supporter of kickers but I’d like to see a rule where teams must attempt a 2pt conversion if it would give them a lead if successful.
Pulling for Robbie to land a sweet gig in a domed stadium.