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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

“I want to win a Super Bowl”: Former 49ers kicker Robbie Gould still seeks NFL home

Apr 21, 2023 at 10:09 AM--

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Kicker Robbie Gould remains unsigned. Is there a possibility that he could return to the San Francisco 49ers? Perhaps, if his unemployment extends further into the offseason. As the offseason progresses, it becomes less and less likely that, at age 40, he will land a big-time deal with any organization.

Ahead of the start of free agency in March, Gould told ESPN that he did not plan to return to the 49ers, his NFL home of the past six seasons. The comments were likely a reaction to 49ers general manager John Lynch admitting at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team was doing its homework on rookie kickers but admitting "Robbie is still very much in the picture."

San Francisco ended up trading for Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez because ... well ... they didn't have a kicker on the roster. Gonzalez is not guaranteed to be the team's kicker going into the 2023 season. The 49ers could still add one via the draft or free agency.

"Our special teams coaches have liked [Gonzalez], his talent, his ability," Lynch said after the trade. "So we're excited to get a talented kicker, and we'll see whether we add competition. But he's been a guy in this league. He's got a big leg. He's got a lot of talent. Our guys were excited to work with him."

Maybe Gould might still return if no one to his liking comes calling. However, the veteran kicker hopes to play closer to his home and family in the Chicago area.

"Obviously I want to play closer to home, that's one of the big things that's meant a lot to me, and we're filtering through those opportunities, and waiting for the right time to be able to do that," Gould told "I'd love to win if possible, so I'm kind of being a little picky with that, but at 40 years old and playing 18 years in the league, I think I've earned the ability to do that."

Ideally, the Chicago Bears would come calling. The veteran kicker wouldn't hesitate to return to the team with which he spent the first 11 years of his NFL career.

"For sure, if they called and said, 'Hey, we want you to play for us,' I'd do it in a heartbeat," Gould admitted.

While his age might scare off some suitors, his postseason clutch performances must be an intriguing draw. Gould is a perfect 29-of-29 in field goal attempts and 39-of-39 on extra-point attempts in 16 playoff appearances, including nine with the 49ers.

As far as milestones go, the kicker seeks more than just a return to the playoffs.

"Well first, I want to win a Super Bowl, obviously that means a lot to me," Gould said. "And secondly, it comes down to wanting to be able to score 2,000 points (he is at 1,961), maybe hit 500 field goals (he is at 447), and ultimately just win. It's been fun for me to be in now my fifth NFC championship, three in San Francisco and two in Chicago, and having the ability to play at that level, it gets me excited.

"So any time I can find a team where I'm getting that opportunity, then there's nothing like playoff football."

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