Something is going on between Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers. It looked like the 37-year old former Chicago Bears star would be going back to the Bay for a third season after two outstanding ones in 2017 and 2018 when the 49ers used their franchise tag on him. At that point it looked like a done deal that he wasn’t going anywhere.
Time passed. Then more timed passed. Then out of nowhere Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports in San Francisco reported the 49ers had heavy interest in Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski who was still a free agent at the time. Shortly after, Gostkowski re-signed with the New England Patriots. However, the interest had been there.
It was the first sign that something was going on in the negotiations between them and Gould. He still hasn’t signed the tag contract tender and now has apparently decided to take it a step further.
Robbie Gould holdout likely for one of two reasons
So what exactly could be the cause of this situation. We’ll start with the most likely. Gould made it clear a few weeks ago that his desire is for a more long-term contract. He is tired of playing on one-year deals and wants more stability for himself and his family who has remained in Chicago while he plays elsewhere.
Then there is the possibility that he is trying to force the 49ers hand to rescind the tag and let him become a free agent. This would give him the chance to re-sign with the Bears. Something he’s hinted he wants for months. It would reunite him with his family and give him a chance to finish out his career where it started. On a winning team no less.
Much of this depends on how stubborn GM John Lynch is going to be. If he is dead set on Gould kicking only for the 49ers this year, he can keep the tag in place all season as the Steelers did with Le’Veon Bell last year. Then again, if he’s convinced Gould wants out and they can find a replacement they like in the draft or elsewhere, then he may grant the request.