With the start of training camp 11 days away, the San Francisco 49ers and star kicker Robbie Gould have finally come to an agreement on a contract extension, the team announced on Monday afternoon.
The deal — hammered out over the weekend by 49ers president Paraag Marthe and Gould’s agent Brian Mackler — came hours ahead of Monday’s NFL deadline for franchise-tagged players to agree to multi-year deals. Had the deal not been reached, Gould would have played for $4.97 million this season, the NFL’s richest contract for a kicker.
The four-year deal confirmed by the 49ers is reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter to be a two-year contract worth $10.5 million, with a two-year option that would bump the value up to $19 million, with $15 million guaranteed. The option would have to be picked up by San Francisco by Week 17 of the 2020 season.
Gould, 36, requested a trade in April when he was franchise tagged, and having just built a home in the Chicago area with his wife and three young sons, it was thought that he wanted to play for the Bears, with whom he spent the first 11 years of his 14-year career. Even head coach Kyle Shanahan had his doubts that a long-term deal could get done.
“We love having Robbie here,” Shanahan said in April. “We understand that he doesn’t want to live here long-term and he’s made that clear to us, and we get that. … No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons. But, pretty excited to have a good kicker this year.”
The deal’s average annual value rivals that signed in April by Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, who signed for four years and $20 million, with $12.5 guaranteed. Gould’s 72 made field goals and 96.0 field goal percentage over the past two years is first in the NFL over that time period, and ranks as the second-highest in NFL history over a two-year span (minimum 32 attempts).
In two seasons with the 49ers, Gould has hit 72 of 75 field-goal attempts and 55 of 59 extra point attempts.
Gould’s 271 total points from 2017-18 are the second-most in a two-year span in franchise history (kicker David Akers had 297 from 2011-12). He also set the franchise record by making 33 straight field goal attempts from 2017-18. His 33-of-34 season in 2018 set the franchise record for field goal percentage (97.1). The year prior, he’d hit 39 of 41 field goals to lead the NFL, set a single-season career high and finished tied for the third-most in a single season in league history.
“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. “I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this deal come to fruition. We are very happy to start off the year on the right foot with this agreement in place so that Robbie can get back with his teammates and focus on making the most out of the upcoming season.”
Gould did not participate in the offseason program, and when he returns, he’ll have a new holder in rookie punter Mitch Wishnowsky, drafted in the fourth round out of Utah. He will at least have familiar snappers, as Colin Holba will handle those duties before Kyle Nelson comes back from the six games remaining on his PED suspension.