Robbie Gould

NFC West Notes: Gurley, Rams, 49ers, Gould, Shanahan, Seahawks, McDougald

One of the biggest stories of this NFL offseason has been the drama surrounding Todd Gurley‘s knee. Gurley clearly wasn’t right down the stretch last season, and C.J. Anderson ended up taking the bulk of the Rams’ running back snaps during their Super Bowl run. Gurley’s health has been clouded in secrecy, with conflicting reports emerging seemingly every week. We’ve heard everything from Gurley having arthritis in his knee and it being degenerative, to him being just fine. Gurley stayed away from the team’s OTAs so he wasn’t available to reporters, but he finally broke his silence this week at minicamp.

Gurley tried to quell any concern at his press conference, saying “I had bigger problems to worry about coming out of college. This is small,” per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Gurley is presumably referring to the ACL tear that he had coming out of Georgia. While it’s nice to hear that Gurley doesn’t sound too concerned, it doesn’t mean we should expect him to be a workhorse in 2019. The Rams raised a lot of eyebrows by drafting Memphis running back Darrell Henderson in the third round back in April, and it’s very likely they’ll take it easy with Gurley early on to keep him fresh for a playoff run.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers have had one of the best kicking situations in the league the last couple of years, as Robbie Gould has been incredibly consistent. San Francisco is hoping for big things this season as Jimmy Garoppolo returns from his torn ACL, and Gould is a big part of their plans. Unfortunately the two sides are in a bit of a contract standoff, as Gould still hasn’t signed his franchise tag and is demanding a trade. Gould may wait until the last minute to show up, and that’s just fine with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. “If he doesn’t want to show up until Week 1, it is what it is,” Shanahan said on Tuesday, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. “I’ll take a very good kicker at any time, whether it’s Week 1 or on third down, just one play before we’re going to have to kick.” Gould is set to make $4.971MM under the tag in 2019, but is holding out for a longterm deal. Judging by Shanahan’s comments, it doesn’t sound like the 49ers are going to blink anytime soon.
  • Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald is recovering from a recent knee surgery, and now we have more details. McDougald revealed to reporters that he played with a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee from Week 8 on last year, and that he initially tried just rehabbing it before opting for surgery last month, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). McDougald also said “for sure” when asked if he’d be on the field at the start of training camp. McDougald, 28, started all 16 games for Seattle last year after being a part-time starter in 2017.
  • In case you missed it, Sean McVay fully committed to Jared Goff recently, saying there’s a “zero percent chance” he doesn’t get extended.

49ers’ Robbie Gould To Skip Minicamp

49ers’ kicker Robbie Gould will not attend the team’s mandatory minicamp, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Gould’s situation is different than most, however, as he has not yet signed his franchise tag. 

The saga between the Niners and their kicker has been going on for some time. Gould was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this offseason with the understanding that the two sides would eventually agree to an extension. However, a new deal still hasn’t materialized, much to the dismay of the kicker.

The bottom line is, I’m unsure if I want to play there anymore,” Gould said earlier this year. “At this point, I have to do what’s best for me and my family back home.”

Later, Gould’s agent indicated that if Gould were to report at all, he would not show up before the club’s season opener. GM John Lynch has said that he wants to sign Gould to a multiyear deal, but there apparently has been much progress on that front.

At one point, the Niners expressed interest in Stephen Gostkowski before he re-signed with the Patriots, so they’ve at least contemplated a future without Gould. They may have to scour the open market again if the standoff continues.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Won’t Trade K Robbie Gould

It sounds like Robbie Gould won’t get his wish. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the organization won’t trade the veteran kicker (Twitter link). We learned earlier this week that the 36-year-old had requested a trade.

Gould was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this offseason with the understanding that the two sides would eventually agree to an extension. However, a new deal still hasn’t materialized, much to the dismay of the kicker.

The bottom line is, I’m unsure if I want to play there anymore,” Gould said. “At this point, I have to do what’s best for me and my family back home.

The recent reports indicated that Gould will refuse to sign a long-term pact with the 49ers. Meanwhile, the player’s agent said that if the kicker reports at all, it will not be before the Niners’ Sept. 8 regular season opener. Earlier this week, GM John Lynch said he fully expects Gould to be with the 49ers in 2019, and he reiterated that he wants to sign Gould to a multiyear deal

Following an 11-year stint with the Bears (and a one-year cameo with the Giants), Gould inked a two-year pact with the Niners in 2017. Recently, Gould grew tired of the protracted contract negotiations and indicated that he wanted to be closer to home with his family in Chicago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ Robbie Gould Demands Trade

Robbie Gould wants out. The 49ers kicker, who has been cuffed by the franchise tag, has halted all negotiations and refuses to sign a long-term deal with the club, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com hears. 

Gould’s agent, meanwhile, says that if he reports at all, it will not be before the Niners’ Sept. 8 regular season opener. So, at best, Gould appears set to be a summer holdout if he stays in SF. Speaking at his pre-draft press conference yesterday, GM John Lynch said he fully expects Gould to be with the 49ers in 2019, and that he still wants to sign Gould to a multiyear deal (via Matt Barrows of The Athletic). Gould, though, does not appear ready to make nice.

Gould, 36, was released after eleven years with the Bears, leading him to the Giants in 2016. Then, he inked a two-year pact with the Niners in 2017. Recently, Gould grew tired of the protracted contract negotiations and indicated that he wanted to be closer to home with his family in Chicago.

Earlier this offseason, the Niners expressed interest in signing free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski before he re-signed with the Patriots. That irked Gould, who is doubling down on his desire to return to the midwest.

The bottom line is, I’m unsure if I want to play there anymore,” Gould said. “At this point, I have to do what’s best for me and my family back home.

Besides Gould, inexperienced kicker Jonathan Brown is the only other field goal leg on the Niners’ roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Franchise Tag Robbie Gould

The 49ers placed the franchise tag on kicker Robbie Gould, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With that, the Niners become the first team to use the franchise tag this offseason. Gould will earn roughly $5MM in 2019 on the tender, unless the two sides avoid the tag with an extension. 

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 NFL history. That’s especially impressive when considering that Gould has spent eleven of his 14 seasons kicking out of Soldier Field with the Bears.

The 49ers last used the tag in 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 by inking him to a colossal five-year extension.

With the tag in place, the Niners and Gould can negotiate a long-term deal between now and the summer deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers May Tag Robbie Gould

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.

49ers Want To Re-Sign K Robbie Gould

The 49ers sound like they want to retain kicker Robbie Gould‘s services, but it might not be easy. Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes that the two sides aren’t close to a deal, and a new contract isn’t imminent.

In fact, Gould might be content to test free agency. The 36-year-old recently talked to Dan Pompei of The Athletic, and the veteran strongly hinted that he’d be interested in returning to his former team, the Bears. Chicago could be seeking a new kicker following Cody Parkey‘s underwhelming performance this past season, and Gould has a natural connection to the organization after having spent the first 11 years of his career with the team.

Of course, the 49ers still have plenty of leverage. The team could choose to franchise the kicker, and that decision wouldn’t break the bank; last year’s kicker value was around $4.9MM. The team could also choose to sign Gould to a longer-term deal, and general manager John Lynch indicated that they’d be willing to spend for the veteran.

“He’s been incredibly clutch for us,” Lynch told Barrows. “And we’d like to reward him for that.”

After one season with the Giants, Gould signed a two-year deal with San Francisco back in 2017. In his two seasons with the team, the kicker has connected on 72 of his 75 field goal attempts in 32 games. Gould has also converted 55 of his 59 extra point attempts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Cardinals, Joeckel, Raiders

Let’s take a quick swing around the league’s west divisions:

  • We learned earlier today that Tony Jefferson‘s new deal with the Ravens will pay him up to $37MM over four years. We also heard reports in recent days that the Browns and possibly the Jets offered him slightly more money, but that he spurned those offers to sign with Baltimore. As Andy Benoit of TheMMQB writes in a detailed piece on Jefferson’s free agent journey, Jefferson’s former team, the Cardinals, made him an initial “low-ball” offer of three years, $12MM, before upping their proposal to four years and $24MM, still well short of the winning bid.
  • Mike Jurecki of FoxSports910 passes along some contract details on two of the Cardinals‘ recent signings (Twitter links). Jurecki reports that safety Antoine Bethea‘s new three-year deal will pay him yearly base salaries of $2MM, $3MM, and $3MM, while A.Q. Shipley‘s new two-year pact is worth a total of $3.5MM with base salaries of $775K and $1.5MM, $725K in guarantees, and $250K in roster bonuses for 2017 and 2018.
  • Luke Joeckel‘s new one-year deal with the Seahawks will pay him a fully-guaranteed $7MM, with an additional $1MM available in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets that Robbie Gould‘s new two-year pact with the 49ers is worth a total of $4MM, with $1MM fully guaranteed.
  • The Raiders will likely not have a lease agreement for a proposed Las Vegas stadium in place before the league owners meet later this month, a meeting during which they could approve the team’s relocation bid. However, as noted in a piece from the Associated Press, the absence of a finalized lease agreement does not mean the league owners will be precluded from voting on the relocation proposal. Instead, they could conditionally approve the relocation as long as the lease adequately addresses issues that are important to the league.
  • The Raiders have made a few changes to their coaching staff, as Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com writes. Last season’s assistant secondary coach, Rod Woodson, will coach cornerbacks, as he did previously, and Brent Vieselmeyer, who was assistant linebackers coach last year, will coach the safeties in 2017. Meanwhile, Travis Smith has been promoted from quality control to outside linebackers coach, and Nick Holz is now the assistant receivers coach. Nate Tice, son of offensive line coach Mike Tice, is the offensive quality control coach.
  • We learned earlier today that the Broncos and OT Donald Stephenson have agreed to a restructured deal.

49ers To Sign Robbie Gould

The 49ers have agreed to a deal with free agent kicker Robbie Gould, reports Alex Flanagan of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a two-year pact, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (Twitter link via Adam Schefter).

Robbie Gould (Vertical)

Gould will take over in San Francisco for Phil Dawson, who signed with the NFC West rival Cardinals on Thursday. The 49ers will be the third NFL franchise for the 35-year-old Gould, who spent 2005-15 with the Bears. A couple months after Chicago released him prior to last season, Gould hooked on with the Giants in October.

A career 85.9 percent field goal kicker, Gould converted all 10 of his attempts in 10 games last year and also hit on 20 of 23 extra points. His PAT performance with Big Blue represented a drop-off from his showing in 2015 in Chicago, where he nailed 28 of 29 extra points.

In heading to San Francisco, Gould will rejoin special teams coordinator Richard Hightower, who was the Bears’ assistant ST coach last year. With Gould, Steven Hauschka and Nick Novak now off the market, Nick Folk stands as PFR’s top-rated free agent kicker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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