Robbie Gould

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Cooks, Gordon

The 49ers (and certain fantasy owners) may well have to make other plans at tight end this week. George Kittle drew a doubtful designation for San Francisco’s pivotal Week 10 game against Seattle. The All-Pro candidate is battling knee and ankle injuries, and although he played eight games with torn rib cartilage last season, Kittle is likelier than not to miss the nationally televised game. Levine Toilolo and second-year UDFA Ross Dwelley reside as the other tight ends on the 49ers’ roster.

Veteran Garrett Celek could be activated from the PUP list, however. Celek has been dealing with a back injury for months but returned to practice this week, per ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter). While the 49ers are not against activating Celek for Monday, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) the team would prefer he go through multiple practice weeks before debuting this season. Dwelley and Toilolo have combined to catch nine passes for 38 yards this season.

Here is the more from San Francisco and the latest from the NFC West:

  • In more promising 49ers injury news, the 49ers may get both of their tackles back this week. With Joe Staley expected to return this week, Mike McGlinchey may join him. The second-year right tackle worked in three limited practices this week. He has been out since Week 5 due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Staley also participated in three limited practices this week. Despite both of San Francisco’s tackles being out for much of the season, the 49ers’ run game ranks second in the NFL.
  • The team’s Chase McLaughlin acquisition will likely lead to game work. Robbie Gould joins Kittle in being given a doubtful status. Gould, who has not missed a game since his 49ers tenure began in 2017, is dealing with a quad injury.
  • In advance of the Rams‘ road assignment against the Steelers, Brandin Cooks has spent time in Pittsburgh because of concussion trouble. Cooks has made multiple trips to Pittsburgh to meet with doctors over the past two weeks, Omar Ruiz of USA Today tweets. The Rams wide receiver remains in concussion protocol and is out for Sunday’s game. Cooks has suffered two concussions this season, one in 2018 and one in Super Bowl LII. The 26-year-old receiver is not considering retirement and still wants to return this season (Instagram link).
  • Josh Gordon‘s Seahawks debut is likely set for Monday night. Despite being on the Patriots’ IR list to start last week, Gordon was not listed on the Seahawks’ injury report. Pete Carroll said there’s a “good chance” the recent waiver pickup plays against the 49ers, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The former All-Pro played in six Patriots games, catching 20 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown.

49ers To Sign K Chase McLaughlin

49ers kicker Robbie Gould suffered a strained quad that could sideline for him Monday night’s game against the Seahawks, so San Francisco is signing fellow kicker Chase McLaughlin, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Gould’s injury is not long-term in nature, per RapSheet, but it could affect his availability for Week 10.

Gould, 36, posted arguably the best season of his career in 2018, converting a league-leading 97.1% of his field goal attempts. He made both of his attempts from 50+ yards, and missed only two extra points. Tagged as a franchise player before agreeing to a four-year extension, Gould’s production has declined this year, as he’s already missed seven field goal attempts in 20 tries.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, is an undrafted rookie free agent who spent time with the Bills before serving as the Chargers’ kicker for the month of October. Playing in relief of the injured Michael Badgley, McLaughlin made six-of-nine field goal attempts and converted all seven of his extra point tries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: C. Jones, Gould, Lindsay

The Chiefs and Chris Jones have made no recent progress towards a long-term deal, which means that Kansas City can, if it wants, have Jones play out the 2019 season for a bargain $1.2MM salary (Jones, after all, has to report to the club by August 6 to receive an accrued season toward free agency). However, if the Chiefs want to keep Jones in the fold for the long haul, it will have to pony up some cash soon.

And as Joel Corry of CBS Sports relays in a series of tweets, Jones is not going to come cheap. Corry suggests that Jones is already a $20MM+/year player, and if he performs as well in 2019 as he did in his breakout 2018 campaign, it will be hard to keep him for less than Aaron Donald‘s six-year, $135MM pact with the Rams. And if the Chiefs put the franchise tag on Jones next year and he plays the 2020 season under the tag while still performing at a high level, Khalil Mack money (six years, $141MM) won’t be enough.

The Chiefs learned with Justin Houston that waiting to extend an elite player can become overly costly, and Corry suggests KC should not go that route with Jones.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • The 49ers and K Robbie Gould agreed to a four-year, $19MM pact yesterday, and San Francisco bucked tradition a bit by fully guaranteeing the first two years of the deal (a total of $10.5MM). And, as Gould said (via ESPN.com), that guarantee was a deal-breaker. He had requested a trade in April, and given the Bears’ desperate need for a kicker, a trade to Chicago made sense, especially since Gould — the Bears’ all-time leading scorer — lives in the Windy City and plans to continue living there forever. He told the 49ers that in order for him to return to the team, he would need two fully-guaranteed years, and he got it.
  • Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post says that Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay believes he is ready to fully participate in training camp, which opens next week, after recovering from a wrist injury he suffered late last season. That is in keeping with what we heard in June, but Lindsay concedes that it’s not his decision. It’s still possible that he will remain a limited participant just as he was throughout offseason workouts, at least for awhile. Denver obviously wants to get him on the field as soon as possible, especially since he will be adjusting to a new offense, but the club also does not want to needlessly rush one of its most promising youngsters.
  • The Broncos signed No. 41 overall pick Dalton Risner earlier today, which leaves QB Drew Lock as the club’s only unsigned 2019 draft pick. Lock, the No. 42 overall pick, is looking for an overslot contract, but Denver does not plan to give him one.
  • Yesterday, the Raiders added some guard depth by signing Jonathan Cooper.

49ers Sign Robbie Gould To Extension

The 49ers’ long saga with Robbie Gould has a happy ending. On Monday, the 49ers agreed to sign the kicker to a four-year, $19MM deal, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets

The deal includes $10.5MM fully guaranteed at signing, representing locked in salaries for the first two seasons of the deal. After that, the Niners must decide whether to fully guarantee half of his $4.5MM salary for 2021 before Week 16 of 2020 season, and the other half by the following April.

It’s rare for the 49ers to give fully guaranteed salaries through year two, which shows how much they value Gould. The 36-year-old has nailed 72 of 75 field goal tries since joining the 49ers in 2017, positioning him as one of the very best kickers in the game.

Gould requested a trade in April to bring him closer to his family, which many read as a push to return to Chicago. The 49ers, however, held firm and refused to deal him.

Before the deal, Gould was scheduled to play the 2019 season on his one-year, $5MM franchise tag tender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Gould, Gordon, Cards, Rams

Robbie Gould said this week he and the 49ers have been negotiating a contract for well over a year. Unless the sides can come to terms by Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions, he will be tethered to the 49ers at the current kicker tag rate of $5MM. He has requested a trade and been mulling a holdout.

We’ve been negotiating for 17 months and it’s been a complicated situation,” Gould said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Josh Schrock. “I’m at the point where my agent is going to handle it. If there’s anything I need to know about, then I’ll make a decision.”

The 36-year-old kicker has hit 72 of 75 field goal tries since joining the 49ers in 2017. The trade request Gould made led many to believe he wanted to return to Chicago, where his family resides. But the 15th-year specialist clarified that seeking a spot closer to his family does not necessarily mean solely seeking a Bears reunion. Though, the dot-connecting between Gould the kicker-starved Bears — for whom he played from 2005-15 — is rather easy.

I never said I want to go back there,” Gould said. “I just said I want to be closer to my family. That doesn’t necessarily mean (the Bears).”

Shifting to some non-kicker news, here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Melvin Gordon‘s attempt to secure a new contract brought the Chargers into the news this week. But the team is not yet willing to publicly engage with the disgruntled running back. “We don’t publicly discuss contract negotiations,” the team said in a message sent to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Gordon is set to make $5.6MM on the fifth-year option this season; that figure is nearly $4MM less than Ezekiel Elliott would make on his 2020 option. The 26-year-old back has issued a pay-me-or-trade-me ultimatum and threatened a regular-season holdout.
  • Rams strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath was found not guilty on three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, a Ventura, Calif., jury ruled Friday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. This alleged incident occurred in 2018. Rath, 35, is in his second season as a Rams assistant; he was placed on leave earlier this year.
  • Larry Fitzgerald‘s late-career move to the slot led to an uptick in his reception counts, with the Cardinals’ future Hall of Famer eclipsing 100 catches for three straight seasons from 2017-19. Kliff Kingsbury said the soon-to-be 36-year-old receiver has shown an early chemistry with Kyler Murray and will be moved to different places in formations this season, per Bob McManamon of the Arizona Republic. In a 2018 season that saw the Cardinals rank last in points and total yards, Fitzgerald posted a career-low 734 yards.
  • In the same piece, McManamon lists third-year wideout Chad Williams as being on the Cards’ roster bubble. With the team drafting three receivers to join Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and UFA addition Kevin White, the former Bruce Arians-era third-round pick (20 career catches for 202 yards and one touchdown) may be battling uphill to keep his roster spot.

49ers’ Robbie Gould Mulling Holdout

When the 49ers convene for training camp later this month, kicker Robbie Gould might not be on hand, as Cam Inman of the Mercury News writes. Gould continues to push for a trade and offered no assurance that he’ll join his teammates if he doesn’t get his way in the next couple of weeks. 

I’m not going to commit to making any decision right now,” said Gould while at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada.

The Gould/Niners saga has been going on for some time. For a while, the kicker pushed for a return to the Bears. The 49ers, however, did not blink, and subsequently hit him with the $5MM franchise tender. Gould continues to say that he will not sign the tender with the implication being that he will not be a happy camper in SF unless he is given a lucrative multi-year deal.

I don’t really have a plan right now,” Gould said. “Obvious there is a deadline and I don’t have to make any decisions anytime soon. … The deadline to sign a long-term contract is Monday, and the rest of that (potential holdout) is up to me.”

Gould’s other options consist of skipping training camp, waiting until Week 1 to start his $5MM deal, waiting as late as Week 10 to earn a prorated salary, or sitting out the entire season, a la Le’Veon Bell.

Publicly, the Niners continue to say that they are focused on hammering out a long-term deal for Gould.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers K Robbie Gould Discusses Trade Demand

There doesn’t seem to be a definitive end in sight to the Robbie Gould-49ers standoff. The most recent development came earlier this month, as we learned the veteran kicker would skip the team’s mandatory minicamp as he continues to push for a trade. The 36-year-old recently clarified his trade demand to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“It’s a complicated situation,” Gould said. “The way I’ve kind of approached it is, I want to spend time with my family. And I let my agent handle it, and if anything comes up that I have to make a decision or be in the know, he’ll call me and let me know. But right now there’s nothing to really know, and I’m just enjoying being home and being in Chicago.

“I’m at a point in my career where my family is what’s going to dictate the decisions that I make.”

To review: Gould signed a two-year, $4MM contract with San Francisco back in 2017, and he proceeded to connect on 72 of his 75 field goal attempts (96-percent) and 55 of his 59 extra point attempts (93.2-percent) in 32 games. With the veteran facing free agency, the 49ers slapped him with the franchise tag back in February, meaning Gould would be in line to earn about $5MM in 2019. However, we learned soon after that Gould wanted out of San Francisco, a request that the 49ers have denied.

The 49ers are still focused on signing Gould to a multiyear extension, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t sound all that concerned when discussing the possibility of the kicker holding out until Week 1. Therefore, it could be another couple of months until there’s any type of resolution.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.