Robbie Gould doesn’t know what his future holds or where the rest of his career will play out, but the ex-Bears kicker and free-agent-to-be has an idea of what it should look like.
In a radio appearance with Zach Zaidman and Tom Thayer on 670 The Score, Gould told the hosts what he’ll be looking for if he hits free agency: “Well, my family is the most important thing. … Obviously, a long term contract is something I’d like to have. And when it comes down to it, I want to win. I want to find the best place to give myself the opportunity to win the Super Bowl. So, there’s a handful of things that I’ll look into.”
You can listen to Gould’s entire interview below:
So a 36-year-old kicker – who’s made 82 of his last 85 kicks and happens to be the Bears’ all-time leading scorer, and whose family lives in Chicago – wants a multi-year deal with a team squarely in a window of contention. That sounds reasonable enough. So when can the Bears roll out the red carpet and welcome back Gould? Oh, if only it were that easy.
As Gould noted in the interview, the 49ers still control his destiny. Gould made certain to point out San Francisco holds exclusive negotiating rights until March 11 and his representation cannot talk to other teams until March 13. And while he didn’t mention it in the interview, the 49ers can also slap Gould with the exclusive franchise tag, which would keep him in San Francisco for 2019 and give the team time to come up with the long-term deal he desires.
Gould has been an all-world place-kicker for the Giants and 49ers while his former team has struggled to field a replacement-level fill-in since his departure. And his success coming as he hits free agency and just as his former team has an apparent need is only fitting.
Of course, the Bears have a lot of work to do before they can make a reunion with Gould possible. Cody Parkey is still under contract as the team’s kicker, safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Bryce Callahan as potential outgoing free agents, and the Bears are operating with a tight budget as OverTheCap.com puts them with just $7,299,741 in cap room.
A reunion between Gould and the Bears is far from a sure thing for a number of reasons. And yet, the door is still open for the time being. “We’re all ears if we get to that March 11 time and we’ll take it in stride,” Gould said. “We’d definitely consider all opportunities when we get to that free agent part, for sure.”
Keeping an open mind is a good thing.