The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their offseason program on Monday, and Robbie Gould was noticeably absent. Of course, the veteran kicker was not necessarily expected to be in attendance as his teammates report to the 49ers' Santa Clara-based facility. He has not yet signed his one-year franchise tag deal, which would pay him $4.971 million in 2019.


Gould would prefer a multi-year deal. He may even prefer to become a free agent and choose his own destination. Gould calls the Chicago area home and might want to return to the Bears, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career. He is in the area right now being a dad for his kids, as shown in the tweet below.


The 49ers, of course, want Gould back for at least the 2019 season. The team has until July 15 to work out a new contract. Gould will have to play on his one-year franchise-tag deal after that or not play at all this year.

"We're very hopeful," general manager John Lynch said in February. "We did put the franchise tag on him but (are) very hopeful that we continue talking and try to come to an agreement to keep him around for a while."

The 49ers expressed interest in free-agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was then promptly re-signed by the New England Patriots. That means San Francisco is at least looking into potential backup plans should Gould remain away from the team.

The 49ers signed kicker Jonathan Brown to a two-year deal in March.