Robbie Gould may be a 37-year old kicker but he’s also well aware of his own situation. He’s made enough money in his career to be safe from threats of financial loss. His goal with his current contract holdout isn’t necessarily a massive pay raise but more a long-term commitment. Something beyond one or two years that will allow him the time to uproot his family and move them.

Thus far the San Francisco 49ers haven’t budged from their original stance. Sign the franchise tag for a one-year deal or sit at home. Thus far Gould has chosen the latter. However, the first major deadline of the year approaches. One that allows franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals. If it passes in less than a week, Gould will have no choice but to either play on that deal or extend the holdout.

By the sign of recent comments to the San Jose Mercury News, he is deadly serious about his demands. He doesn’t appear phased by the idea of extending the holdout for as long as it takes.

“I’m not going to commit to making any decision right now . . . I don’t really have a plan right now. Obvious there is a deadline and I don’t have to make any decisions anytime soon. . . . The deadline to sign a long-term contract is Monday, and the rest of that [potential holdout] is up to me.”

49ers believe Robbie Gould is bluffing and he insists he is not

This is developed into a battle of wills. 49ers GM John Lynch believes Gould’s desire to play will eventually override his demands for a more favorable deal. Gould, with these latest comments, is making it as clear as possible that such a thought is incorrect. He is firmly committed to his course and may be willing to sacrifice one of the few precious years he has left in his NFL career to get what he wants.

Now the dream scenario for most watching this is for Gould to make a triumphant return home to Chicago. A wronged son coming back to save the family in their hour of crisis. It would make for a great story, no doubt. However, the kicker wanted to emphasize that his trade demands were in no way exclusive to the Bears. He’d accept any number of teams provided they are simply closer to his family in Chicago.

Even so, it’s hard not to feel like his endgame is finding a way home if possible. That pursuit can’t happen unless San Francisco loosens their grip enough for him to escape.