49ers’ most notable moves of the offseason
Robbie Gould might have made his last kick with the 49ers after two stellar seasons.
Gould, according to a report from ESPN on Tuesday, requested a trade after being given the franchise tag in February and being unable to agree to a multi-year contract.
“The bottom line is, I’m unsure if I want to play there anymore,” Gould told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “At this point, I have to do what’s best for me and my family back home.”
Gould, 36, was slated to be the NFL’s second-highest paid kicker in 2019 at $4.97 million. He made an NFL-high 97.1 percent of his field-goal attempts last season (33 of 34) after leading the league with 39 makes in his first year with San Francisco in 2017. He was the team’s nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Gould has tired of ongoing contract negotiations over the past 14 months, per the report, while his wife and children stayed in Chicago. Gould lived in a hotel near 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara. He spent the first 11 years of his career with the Bears, who would be a possible trade candidate should San Francisco yield to his request.
General manager John Lynch on Monday indicated he was confident Gould would be part of the team in 2019 despite not showing up to the start of voluntary conditioning last week.
“I think there’s a few things that make me feel really good,” Lynch said. “First of all, Robbie is extremely good at what he does and I think the last couple of years have been indicative of that. Robbie’s a guy who works extremely hard at his craft.
“By virtue of that position, he can do that wherever he is. He can do it in Santa Clara, he can do it in Chicago, he can do it wherever he is and I’m sure Robbie’s doing that. Robbie’s going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that. We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make that happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet and we’ll see where that goes, but Robbie will be a part of us this coming year.”
The 49ers signed kicker Jonathan Brown to a two-year contract March 8, presumably to be a camp leg throughout the offseason program and training camp.
San Francisco didn’t bring back punter Bradley Pinion, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last month. Pinion was a key specialist for the 49ers, serving as Gould’s holder with no noticeable mishaps while also being effective handling kickoffs.
The 49ers recently confirmed interest in Patriots free-agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski in light of the stalled contract talks with Gould’s representatives. But Gostkowski re-signed with New England on April 9 soon after news of San Francisco’s interest surfaced.
“The thinking was we’ve got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios,” Lynch said. “Stephen was a free agent and also very good. Our number one priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie. Stephen was there. I think our interest quickly got the Patriots to lock him down and that’s where he’s at so I’ll leave that at that.”
Gould’s agent, Brian Mackler, indicated there’s a chance Gould plays for the 49ers this season, but it would come after skipping the offseason program and training camp.
“At this time, we are unsure when or if he will report,” Mackler told ESPN. “It will not be prior to Sept. 8, at the earliest, if at all.”