Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
After four very solid seasons with Phil Dawson handling kicking duties, the San Francisco 49ers finally parted ways with him. I was expecting the team to look at some younger options for the position. Technically just about anybody was going to be younger than Dawson, but Robbie Gould was not what I expected. The 49ers announced the signing of Gould as part of their opening day of free agency.
Gould spent the first 11 years of his NFL career primarily with the Chicago Bears. The Bears released him at the end of the preseason last year, and he eventually signed with the New York Giants in October. In 11 season with the BEars, he left as the franchise leader in field goals made, field goal percentage, 50+ yards fields made, and total points scored. In ten games with the Giants, he converted all ten of his field goal attempts, and 20 of 23 extra point attempts.
Age: 35 (36 on December 6)
Experience: 12 accrued seasons
Weight: 190 lbs
Signed two-year, $4 million contract, with $500,000 signing bonus. Receives $1.5 million base salary ($500,000 guaranteed) in 2017, and $2 million in 2018.
Why he might improve in 2017
Not having to kick in Chicago will be a plus, but I don’t know exactly how weather patterns impact kicking at the Meadowlands. He’s generally bounced between 83 percent and 90 percent on field goals converted, with two seasons under 80 percent (2005, 2014). He was 10-of-10 last year with the Giants, but in his last year with Chicago was at 84.6 percent. Maybe we see a slight bump just based on how things swing back and forth.
Why he might regress in 2017
He’s 35, and while kickers can last for longer than most players, he could eventually run into a wall. My guess is he ends up kicking somewhere in his 83 percent to 90 percent range, and we don’t see anything particularly drastic one way or the other.
Odds of making the roster
He does not have a ton of guaranteed money on his deal, but he’s not going anywhere. The 49ers have Nick Rose on the roster (reserve/future contract), but he’s going to be a camp leg. I suppose we should never say never, but as far as I can tell, Gould is a roster lock.