49ers reach deal with kicker Gould
Kicker Robbie Gould agreed to a multi-year deal with the 49ers hours ahead of Monday’s NFL deadline for franchisetagged players to do so, league sources confirmed.
Had Gould not come to terms, he would have played this year for a $4.97 million salary that ranked as the NFL’s highest for a kicker.
Instead, he’s landed a twoyear, $10.5 million deal that is fully guaranteed, with an option of becoming a four-year, $19 million deal ($15 million guaranteed).
Gould, 36, requested a trade in April from the 49ers after two banner seasons in terms of accuracy (72 of 75 field-goal attempts) and clutch kicks (albeit for a team that won only 10 of 32 games).
Gould, who recently built a home in the Chicago area with his wife and three young sons, vowed to play closer to his family, and he cleared up last week that he’s never openly asked for an encore with the Bears.
Gould earned $4 million the past two seasons, and negotiations on a long-term extension have taken place the past 18 months, culminating with Monday’s news, as confirmed by Gould’s agent, Brian Mackler.
Gould’s hardline stance and the 49ers’ shrewd ability to franchise-tag him worked for both sides. The ensuing deal, first reported by ESPN, rivals the league’s top-paying one signed in April by the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker (four years, $20 million; $12.5 million guaranteed).
“Robbie is a guy who we respect in a big way for the way he’s performed for us, for the teammate he’s been, and we’re hopeful that we can figure something out to keep him here for a long time,” general manager John Lynch said in April.
Coach Kyle Shanahan sounded in April that he didn’t expect a multi-year deal but rather the franchise-tag tender, noting: “We love having Robbie here. We understand that he doesn’t want to live here long-term and he’s made that clear to us, and we get that . ... No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons. But, pretty excited to have a good kicker this year.”
Training camp opens July 26. Gould skipped the 49ers offseason program and trained on his own in Chicago; he placed 23rd Sunday in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe.
Gould will have a new holder in rookie Mitch Wishnowsky, whom the 49ers drafted in the fourth round out of Utah for his punting prowess. “He’s absolutely one of the best holders that I’ve seen coming out of college,” special teams coordinator Richard Hightower said last month.
At long snapper, Colin Holba returns before that role returns to Kyle Nelson, who was resigned this offseason but has six games remaining on a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
Jon Brown, 26, handled the 49ers’ kicking duties in Gould’s place during the offseason workouts; Brown has never kicked in a regular-season game but he made all six field-goal attempts in the Cincinnati Bengals exhibitions last summer.
Gould expressed no urgency to re-sign with the 49ers ahead of Monday’s deadline, when interviewed last week at Lake Tahoe. Gould noted that if a multi-year deal wasn’t brokered, his ensuing status “is up to me,” in terms of when he chooses to report.
“I’m not going to commit to making any decision right now,” Gould said. “... I’ve been through several holdouts, I’ve been through a lockout season, I’ve been through not being on a team and showing up in Week 6.
“I’d say there is nothing that scares me anymore in Year 15, because I feel I’ve been through it all.”
San Francisco 49ers' Robbie Gould (9) kicks a 36-yard field goal against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 16, 2018 in Santa Clara.