The folks over at the NFL salary cap-reporting site,, recently came up with a list of players they felt were trending towards teams' roster bubbles in 2019. There were five for the San Francisco 49ers, including veteran kicker Robbie Gould.

San Francisco placed the franchise tag on Gould during the offseason, preventing him from hitting free agency and avoiding a likely reunion with Gould's former team, the Chicago Bears. Gould's tag, worth just under $5 million, created something of a unique situation. It's rare to see kickers hit with the franchise tag, and Gould has yet to sign his tender. Earlier during the offseason, Gould requested a trade -- something the Niners soundly declined to make.

Gould hasn't reported to any of the 49ers' offseason practices, and it's anyone's guess whether or not he'll be in attendance for the start of training camp in late July.

As far as him being on the roster bubble, though, here's what Spotrac had to say (h/t 247 Sports):

Gould's situation may not fit into the traditional definition of a roster bubble player, but Ginnitti seems to think his days with the 49ers are numbered. The Niners have until July 15th to lock in Gould to a long-term deal. It seems highly likely that he's traded at some point this summer. The 49ers have been firm in their desire to have Gould as their kicker this season, but if he refuses to sign his franchise tender and report to the team, maybe their stance will change.

A year ago, then-Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell held out for the entire season, which cost him $14.5 million. Bell's holdout was rare, but the 49ers have to be thinking Gould could take the same approach.

In addition to the veteran kicker, Spotrac also tabbed defensive tackle Sheldon Day, safety Antone Exum, wide receiver Jordan Matthews and tight end Garrett Celek as bubble-watch players.

Celek has remained in the concussion protocol since suffering a head injury in Week 16 last year. The free-agent pickup of veteran tight end Levine Toilolo, along with the 2019 NFL Draft selection of Stanford's Kaden Smith, won't bode well for Celek's chances to stick around. Matthews, meanwhile, has been an offensive standout during OTAs and minicamp, so his chances of hanging onto a spot on the 53-man roster look a bit better than earlier this offseason.

Day might face an uphill battle, given how deep San Francisco's defensive line is, while Exum will be facing a much healthier crop of defensive backs in 2019 than he did a year ago.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.