Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers sign kicker Robbie Gould to a multi-year contract before deadline

Jul 15, 2019 at 6:40 AM--

The Niner Faithful are waking up to some good news on Monday. The San Francisco 49ers have locked up kicker Robbie Gould to a two-year contract on the last day the two parties could agree to a multi-year deal. News of the agreement was first reported on Monday morning by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Schefter later reported the details of the two-year contract, which is worth $10.5 million fully guaranteed and includes a clause that can make it a four-year deal worth $19 million with $15 million guaranteed.

The signing brings an end to the monthslong standoff between San Francisco and its kicker and means Gould will participate in training camp when the team reports on July 26.

General manager John Lynch made the following statement after the 49ers officially announced the signing.

"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. 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."

After months of trying to agree on a new multi-year deal, the 49ers used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Gould on February 26. The move allowed the team to continue contract discussions through today.

The veteran kicker would have been forced to play on his one-year, $4.97 million deal after today had the two sides not reached an agreement. Other options would have been sitting out part of all of the 2019 season and then becoming a free agent next year or waiting to see if the 49ers would trade or release him.

"We put the tag on Robbie because he's a great kicker and we don't want to lose him," head coach Kyle Shanahan said in February. "We've been in negotiations with him for a while. We haven't come to a conclusion on it for both sides. It's really a credit to Robbie that -- it shows that we don't want to lose him.

"When we franchise him, it's because we're hoping to get more time to solve this with him. I know he's going to be a Niner this year. I know he's not going to be on someone else's team, but I really hope it's longer than one year."

The 49ers expressed interest in then-free-agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski before he re-signed with the New England Patriots on April 9. The attempted move might not have sat well with Gould.

"Well, the thinking was we've got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios," Lynch said on April 22. "Stephen was a free agent and also very good. Our number one priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie."

Gould grew tired of the negotiation process, which he told ESPN lasted 14 months, pulled the contract proposals he sent to the 49ers, announced that no further negotiations would take place, and requested to be traded the day after Lynch vowed the kicker would be part of the team in 2019.

"Robbie's going to be a part of us this coming year," Lynch said. "I know that. We would like it to be longer than that, and we've made an attempt to make that happen. We haven't come to an agreement as of yet, and we'll see where that goes.

"Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we're excited for that because he's very good at what he does. And he's also a big part of this team."

Gould did not take part in the 49ers' offseason program, remained with his family in the Chicago area throughout the offseason, and has been training there. The 49ers acknowledged at the time that he did not want to be with the team long-term.

"We understand that he doesn't want to live here long-term," Shanahan said in April, "and he's made that clear to us, and we get that. But, we do have a franchise tag and he's that good of a kicker that he's worth franchising.

"So, unfortunately, we know we're not going to have him long-term here. I think that's been pretty clear. No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons."

Gould is entering his 15th NFL season. He completed 33-of-34 field goal attempts and 27-of-29 extra points last season. Gould's 97.1 field goal completion percentage last year, which led the NFL (minimum 15 attempts), set the franchise record for the highest in a single season.

The New England Patriots signed Gould as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2005. He spent 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears and most of one season with the New York Giants before joining the 49ers on a two-year deal in 2017.

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