The San Francisco 49ers already have question marks surrounding their quarterback situation next season, and will now have to find a new kicker as well. After six seasons in the Bay, Robbie Gould announced his decision to enter free agency and sign with a new team, as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Gould proved himself to be fairly reliable in his tenure with the 49ers, only really struggling in 2019 when he completed just over 74 percent of his field goal attempts. He was 27-of-32 last season. With his contract expiring, there was some speculation that the 40-year-old could be considering retirement, but he refuted that notion in early February.
The fact that Gould just wants a change of scenery is probably unexpected news for San Fran fans. Things ended on a sour note for the entire team after QB Brock Purdy tore a ligament in his throwing elbow early in the NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team then lost backup Josh Johnson to concussion protocol, leaving them essentially without a passing attack for nearly the entire afternoon.
Gould was not immune from the bitterness that permeated throughout the 49ers locker room. Ahead of Super Bowl 57, he took a swift jab at Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in an interview with The 33rd Team.
“If you make Jalen Hurts play quarterback, you’re probably gonna have a pretty solid day on defense,” Gould said.
Although the Eagles lost and Hurts threw only one touchdown pass, he silenced the kicker and all doubters of his passing ability when he threw for 304 yards and converted several key downs. The performance solidified his status as one of the best quarterbacks today. It also brought into question Gould’s prognostication talents.
This free agency news might erase those comments from fans’ memories, though. There should be a healthy market for the 18-year veteran.
The Niners will have an ample crop of kickers to choose their replacement from, including Mason Crosby, Matt Prater and Matt Gay.