Robbie Gould may not have gotten his wish, but he will get a hefty raise.
On Tuesday, the 49ers placed the one-year franchise tag on Gould and it will pay their ultra-reliable placekicker just over $5 million in 2019.’
Gould, who signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the 49ers in 2017, has strongly suggested this offseason that he’d welcome a return to the Bears. Gould spent his first 11 seasons (2005-2015) in Chicago and his family, which includes his wife and three young sons, has stayed in the city during his tenure with the 49ers.
Gould, 36, recently said on 670 The Score in Chicago that he would like to choose his next team partly based on family considerations and the ability to land at least three-year contract. At the end of his appearance, he said: “Once a Bear, always a Bear.”
Given Gould’s ties to Chicago, he may not be motivated to reach a contract extension with the 49ers. The 49ers have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with Gould. The 49ers could franchise Gould again in 2020 at 120 percent of his 2019 salary – about $6 million.
The good news for Gould is that he’ll be compensated for his brilliant performance with the 49ers. Gould has made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts since 2017, which is the most accurate two-season stretch in NFL history among kickers with at least 50 attempts.
Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
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Gould, who ranks second in NFL history in field-goal percentage (87.7), could be the league’s highest-paid kicker in 2019. Last year, New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, who is a pending free agent, earned an NFL-high $4.3 annually. Carolina’s Graham Gano is earning $4.25 million per season.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/Keeping-the-kicker-49ers-place-franchise-tag-on-13646126.php.