Robbie Gould is Looking for a Fresh Start and Prefers Being "Closer to Home"

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Robbie Gould is Looking for a Fresh Start and Prefers Being “Closer to Home”

Chicago Bears

In speaking with NFL dot com during the PGA Tour Champions Invited Celebrity Classic, free agent kicker Robbie Gould made it known he is ready for a fresh start.

And in doing so, he reiterated a stance he has previously made known — he’s down for a Bears reunion if the opportunity presents itself.

“For sure,” Gould said, via’s Coral Smith. “if they called and said, ‘Hey, we want you to play for us,’ I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Gould, 40, kicked 11 seasons for the Bears from 2005-15. Even though he was unceremoniously cut before the start of the 2016 season, Gould left Chicago as one of its most popular players. And one of its best kickers, too. Since his departure, the Bears’ kicking game has been somewhere between okay (at best) and wishing the position was never created in the first place (at worse). But through it all, there has always been an underlying vibe from the fanbase that it would welcome Gould back at any given moment. Perhaps that moment will come this offseason. At a minimum, Gould seems open to it. Moreover, that he is publicly expressing his openness (again) to it makes me wonder if there isn’t an open line of communication between he and the Bears.

This quote has me thinking about things differently (bold emphasis mine):

Obviously I want to play closer to home, that’s one of the big things that’s meant a lot to me, and we’re filtering through those opportunities, and waiting for the right time to be able to do that,” Gould said. “I’d love to win if possible, so I’m kind of being a little picky with that, but at 40 years old and playing 18 years in the league, I think I’ve earned the ability to do that.”

That is an interesting bit of framework from Gould. Not just that he wants to play closer to home, but is also “waiting for the right time” to sort through potential opportunities to do so. Those words are doing some heavy lifting. I read (and re-read) that quote and remind myself that the Bears already have a kicker on their roster. A good one, too. And Gould seems cognizant of that. It’s almost as if he might be willing to wait out a Santos situation to make a return to Chicago work. For what it’s worth, the Bears could cut Cairo Santos and create $3 million in cap savings. All while taking on a dead-money hit of just $1.5 million. The waiting game could be worth it to Santos. But would it be worth it for the Bears to make the switch? That much I’m unsure.

Even though Santos had hiccups kicking extra points last year, Chicago’s incumbent kicker made 91.3 percent of his field goals. Plus, he has been true on 90.6 percent of his tries since re-joining the Bears in 2020. For what it’s worth, Gould has been successful on 84.6 percent of his kicks since the start of 2020. Just some food for thought before we even begin considering kicking Cairo to the curb for a Robbie reunion.

Nevertheless, we’ll monitor this from afar. Because for the second time this spring, Gould made it known he would want to be back in Chicago. And that isn’t an inconsequential mention to me. Sure, the Bears might be better off looking at the draft if they want to give Santos some camp competition. But if the Gould wants a homecoming and the Bears want to oblige, I don’t think it would hurt them in the long run. To be clear, I’m not full-on encouraging them to make it happen. But I’m not totally against it if that is how the cookie crumbles. This franchise had made worse decisions at more vital times. Look at it this way. These Bears still figure to be closer to building upward than they are truly contending. So doing some fan service wouldn’t be the worst idea they’ve had as an organization.

I mean, you saw what they did with Connor Barth and Cody Parkey. Things could be way worse at the kicker position. Just saying…

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.