Most Chicago Bears fans remain pessimistic regarding the Robbie Gould dream. It seems like such a great story doesn’t it? The man who defined the greatest era of kicking in team history is exiled back in 2016. He reinvents his career since then, missing just two field goals over the span of almost three full seasons. Now he has a chance to come home with the men who sent him away long since gone.
Unfortunately, the business of the NFL never makes things simple. The San Francisco 49ers placed their franchise tag on Gould when 2019 free agency began. This meant they held exclusive rights to the 38-year old. The only options open to him were to sign the one-year contract or hold out. He’s chosen the latter course. What nobody knows for sure is what his endgame is.
Does Gould merely want a long-term deal that would grant him more stability or is he trying to force his way out of San Francisco to go elsewhere? During his charity golf tournament, he spoke to NBC Chicago about the entire issue. His words would seem to indicate what his primary motivation is.
“It’s a complicated situation. 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.”
Robbie Gould is barely even trying to hide it anymore
He didn’t come right out and say it, but it also isn’t hard to read between the lines. If given a choice, Gould has every intention of trying to return to Chicago. His family is there and he’s not ignorant of the team’s kicking situation. In his mind, it would be a foregone conclusion if pressed into the competition with Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro for the job. His previous experience in Chicago would give him a huge leg up.
Everything depends on the 49ers though. All signs have indicated they have no intention of either trading Gould or rescinding the tag. They feel if they wait until the season gets closer, the kicker will relent and report for duty. Kickers don’t need a ton of work in training camp after all. It’s devolved into a matter of which side will blink first. Perhaps if Gould holds out long enough, the 49ers will have to find a replacement.
The problem is that might not be until the season is set to begin. By that point, it’s almost certain the Bears will have made a decision at kicker. Thus his window will have passed. If he wants to end up back with Chicago, his goal must be to either get released during training camp or the preseason or to get traded. None of which seem likely.