Don’t waive goodbye to your dreams of a Robbie Gould return to Chicago just yet:
In a turn of events, 49ers’ franchise kicker Robbie Gould has pulled his contract proposals that he sent to San Francisco and told the team he will not negotiate or sign a long-term deal with them, and he would like to be traded, Gould said Tuesday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 23, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Gould has taken his contract proposals off the table and asked to be traded away from the San Francisco 49ers. And to take things a step further, Gould has indicated (via an ESPN report) he wants to be as close to Chicago as possible:
Robbie Gould tells ESPN he wants to play closer to home. Gould’s family still lives in the Chicago area. https://t.co/7ok9Yld4oy
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) April 23, 2019
Sure, other teams are near Chicago, but you needn’t stress your brain much to make a smart assumption here. In any case, this is a surprising turn that comes one day after 49ers GM John Lynch told reporters (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle) Gould “is going to be a part of us this coming year.”
Gould was a no-show at the start of the 49ers’ offseason training program. Instead of attending the voluntary first phase with his teammates, Gould opted to work out in the Chicagoland area where he lives in the offseason. Further, Gould has yet to sign his Franchise tag tender (which would pay him north of $4.9 million in 2019) and had not indicated he was interested in signing a long-term contract with the team. Gould’s stance seems to stem from San Francisco’s decision to designate him with the Franchise tag. At the time, we thought Gould’s absence could be a sign of a bigger beef between the two sides. Gould expressed his desire for a long-term deal earlier in the offseason, but also hasn’t been shy about teasing the idea of being open to returning to Chicago (which he drove home on several occasions when speaking about free agency in the offseason).
The evident rift between Gould and the 49ers is suddenly on full display, and just days before the NFL Draft. Talk about timing! San Francisco could find a trade partner for Gould or stand their ground and keep their kicker and try to resolve this in another way (though that seems unlikely, with Gould’s agent saying the kicker won’t report before September 8, “if at all.”)
We’ll continue to monitor this situation as it develops, because Bears fans have an idea of how the 49ers can find a resolution to their Gould problem.