One former Bears kicker is trying to pass some wisdom to Robbie Gould, who is looking for a new team after things have gone sour with the 49ers.
Kevin Butler, who was with Chicago from 1985-95, said Gould would need to be cautious if he returned to the Bears after he was cut from the team in 2015.
“I’ve always said it to Robbie, be careful what you wish for sometimes, because it’s not easy to kick in Chicago,” Butler said on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy Show this week. “It’s certainly not easy to kick in San Francisco, but he’s found a situation out there where he’s been as good as there is. Can you duplicate that by coming back to Chicago? I don’t know. … It’s a scary thing to mess with your legacy.”
Gould, 36, has been with the 49ers for the past two seasons, but he and the team haven’t been able to reach a long-term deal. San Francisco placed the franchise tag on Gould, which prompted him to tell the team he wouldn’t be reporting to practices until Sept. 8, right before the start of the season, and ask for a trade.
“The bottom line is, I’m unsure if I want to play there anymore,” Gould told ESPN last week. “At this point, I have to do what’s best for me and my family back home.”
Gould spent 11 seasons with the Bears before being released in 2015 after an average season. He then signed with the Giants for one season before moving on to the 49ers.
Since Chicago released him, Gould has converted 82 of 85 field goal attempts over the past three seasons.
Since Gould was cut, the Bears have struggled with kickers, and Cody Parkey was the latest casualty when he missed three extra point attempts and eight field goal tries —including a 43-yarder that would have beaten the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs — in his first season with the Bears.
With the Bears, Gould made 276 of 323 field goal attempts (85.4 percent) and 379 of 383 extra points (98.9 percent) and was named first-team All-Pro when the Bears reached the Super Bowl in 2006.
But one bad season resulted in Gould getting cut by his original team, something Butler quickly reminded him.
“The obvious question is why don’t the Bears try and bring Robbie back,” Butler said. “Well, Robbie had tremendous success, better than any kicker in Chicago, and he’s gone on and done it even better after he left the Bears. If you’re looking for the rah-rah, team-team thing, remember, they’ll cut your ass just as quick as anything in the NFL.
“It’s not like you’re going to get back there in Chicago and you’ll be hugging all these guys. … You still have to perform. He’s performing at a level that he’s never done before. It’s broke in Chicago and they need to fix it. Robbie is certainly not broke in San Francisco.”
Gould’s franchise tender with San Francisco is worth $4.971 million, but he’s seen fellow kickers Justin Tucker and Stephen Gostkowski get new deals that guarantee them $12.5 million and $5.5 million, respectively.