When the Bears unceremoniously cut Robbie Gould just before the 2016 season started, ending an 11-year run with him kicking in Chicago, they must have thought the grass would be greener on the other side of the field goal post. As it turns out, it was sloppier than Soldier Field after a rainstorm.
But good news comes to those who wait, and the Bears may have just gotten the best opportunity to right their wrong. According to Adam Schefter, Gould has demanded a trade from the 49ers, and boy is there a team in Chicago that could use him.
Since being cut by the Bears three seasons ago, Gould has made 82-of-85 field goals (96.4%) and 75-of-82 extra points (91.4%) during the regular season.
The Bears, during that same time, have had four different kickers: Connor Barth, Mike Nugent, Cairo Santos, and Cody Parkey. They combined to go 57-for-75 on field goals (76%) and 99-for-105 on extra points (94.3%).
While the extra point percentage is minimally better, you don’t have to be a mathematician to understand the increased importance of field goals in the NFL, and in that department, there’s no question: Gould is better than anything the Bears have.
Soldier Field and its natural grass is a notoriously hard place to kick in the NFL. And yet, in his last season with the Bears, Gould set the franchise record for points scored, field goals made and field goals made from 50 yards or longer. He’s made for that field. The Bears reportedly cut him in 2016 because of money, with Gould apparently not willing to take a pay cut at the time, and the fact that he had missed a few key kicks the previous season and hadn’t been great that preseason.
Well, hindsight has proven that decision wrong, and the Bears are once again looking for a kicker. Parkey had an inconsistent season last year (76.7% on field goals) and double doinked what would have been a game-winning field goal from 43 yards off the post in the playoffs.
Of course, the 49ers did place the franchise tag on Gould, which carries a $4.9 million price tag. The Bears would likely have to give up a draft pick to complete the trade and then give Gould a longer-term deal. But with a team that was on the verge of competing for a Super Bowl berth last year, and a kicker who knows how to convert on their nasty field now on the market, a reunion makes all the sense in the world.