49ers reach deadline deal with kicker Robbie Gould

Guarantees of $10.5 million through next two seasons with option of extending two more years, sources confirm

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 03: Robbie Gould #9 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a win against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The 49ers defetaed the Bears 15-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Kicker Robbie Gould agreed to a four-year deal with the 49ers hours ahead of Monday’s NFL deadline for franchise-tagged players to do so, league sources confirmed.

Gould, 36, got a two-year, $10.5 million deal that is fully guaranteed, with an option of becoming a four-year, $19 million deal ($15 million guaranteed). Had Gould not come to terms, he would have played this year for a $4.97 million salary that ranked as the NFL’s highest for a kicker.

San Francisco 49ers’ Robbie Gould (9) shares a laugh with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan while on the sideline in the fourth quarter of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-3. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Gould requested a trade in April from the 49ers after two banner seasons in terms of accuracy (72 of 75 field-goal attempts) and clutch kicks (albeit for a team that won only 10 of 32 games). He was not made available for comment Monday.

Gould recently built a home in Chicago, where he had played from 2005-15, and vowed to stay closer to his wife and three young sons. He said last week that he never openly asked for a trade to Chicago.

Gould earned $4 million the past two seasons, and negotiations on a long-term extension have taken place the past 18 months, culminating with Monday’s news, as confirmed by Gould’s agent, Brian Mackler.

Gould’s hard-line stance and the 49ers’ shrewd ability to franchise-tag him worked for both sides. The ensuing deal, first reported by ESPN, rivals the league’s top-paying one signed in April by the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker (four years, $20 million; $12.5 million guaranteed).

“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,” general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “… 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.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan sounded in April that he didn’t expect a multi-year deal but rather the franchise-tag tender, noting: “We love having Robbie here. We understand that he doesn’t want to live here long-term and he’s made that clear to us, and we get that. … No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons. But, pretty excited to have a good kicker this year.”

Training camp opens July 26. Gould skipped the 49ers offseason program and trained on his own in Chicago; he placed 23rd Sunday in the  American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe.

Gould will have a new holder in rookie Mitch Wishnowsky, whom the 49ers drafted in the fourth round out of Utah for his punting prowess.  “He’s absolutely one of the best holders that I’ve seen coming out of college,” special teams coordinator Richard Hightower said last month.

At long snapper, Colin Holba returns before that role returns to Kyle Nelson, who was re-signed this offseason but has six games remaining on a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Jon Brown, 26, handled the 49ers’ kicking duties in Gould’s place during the offseason workouts; Brown has never kicked in a regular-season game but he made all six field-goal attempts in the Cincinnati Bengals exhibitions last summer.

Gould expressed no urgency to re-sign with the 49ers ahead of Monday’s deadline, when interviewed last week at Lake Tahoe. Gould noted that if a multi-year deal wasn’t brokered, his ensuing status “is up to me,” in terms of when he chooses to report.

“I’m not going to commit to making any decision right now,” Gould said. ” … I’ve been through several holdouts, I’ve been through a lockout season, I’ve been through not being on a team and showing up in Week 6.

“I’d say there is nothing that scares me anymore in Year 15, because I feel I’ve been through it all.”

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