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Report: 49ers expected to use franchise tag on Robbie Gould

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He was set to hit free agency and the 49ers didn’t want to lose him to Chicago.

Tuesday, February 19th is the day NFL teams can official begin designating franchise tags and it looks like kicker Robbie Gould may be the San Francisco 49ers’ recipient. Matt Maiocco reports that the 49ers are expected to franchise Gould.

The 49ers do not need to franchise him tomorrow. They have until March 5 to issue the tag. Gould then can either sign it or sit out his season. It also does not stop the 49ers from getting a long-term deal done.

The tag pays a player either the average salary of the top five highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of his salary from the previous year, whichever of the two numbers is higher. The salary for kickers under the cap is expected to be around $5 million this year.

The 49ers were reported to be in negotiations with Gould, but weren’t progressing as one would hope. Due to him living in a Bay Area hotel during the NFL season and his family residing in Chicago, there was speculation he would return to the Chicago Bears. He would have been a valuable free agent kicker regardless, so if not the Bears, someone would have been interested.

The 49ers roster does not have any other players they may be looking at to put the tag on, so Gould would be the logical choice. They are hovering around $65 million in cap space per Over the Cap.

If they put the tag on Gould, it becomes a matter of if they can keep him around past one more year.