Any dream of a Robbie Gould reunion with the Bears, no matter how far-fetched, ended Monday, when the kicker signed a four-year contract with a team option after two years to remain with the 49ers.
The Bears’ all-time leading scorer will receive $10.5 million fully guaranteed in the first two years of the deal, sources confirmed. A team option for two more years would pay him a total of $19 million — and $15 million guaranteed — in four seasons.
“Over the years, Robbie has established himself as one of the best at his position in the NFL, which is precisely why we were so committed to working out a new contract with him,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement.
After playing two seasons with the 49ers, Gould was upset about being assigned the franchise tag in February. Rather than play on the one-year, $4.97 million tag — which would have made him the highest-paid kicker in 2019 — Gould and his camp requested a trade in April, saying he wanted to play closer to home. The 49ers said they wouldn’t deal Gould, who has made an NFL-best 84 of 87 field-goal tries since the Bears cut him before the 2016 regular season.
He didn’t participate in the 49ers’ offseason activities, instead training near his home in the Chicago area.
He told the Sun-Times during Super Bowl week that Chicago would always be his home. He reiterated, as recently as last weekend, his desire to play somewhere closer to his family.
Monday afternoon marked the NFL deadline for tagged players to negotiate a long-term contract. Without one, Gould would have been limited to the franchise tag. He and his camp hinted he wouldn’t report until the first week of the 49ers’ regular season were that the case.
The Bears, of course, are entering their fourth season of trying to find Gould’s replacement. Cody Parkey was decidedly not that, double-doinking a playoff game-winner after a brutal 2018 season in which he missed 11 total kicks.
Parkey is costing the Bears $4.06 million in dead cap money this season after being cut in March. That salary crunch alone made a Gould reunion unlikely — in addition to the not-insignificant detail that he remained another team’s property.
The Bears instead will enter training camp next week with two inexpensive kickers, Elliott Fry and Eddy Piñeiro, who have never played a regular-season game. Uncertainty at the position is by far the most glaring problem for a team with -Super Bowl aspirations.