A few months back when all this Robbie Gould madness began, many of us thought it was needless drama. Turns out, even Gould doesn’t know what the future will hold. It’s not a bad idea to look at a future without Gould.
So the 49ers may need to get a backup plan. They already have Jon Brown but going into the season with one kicker that hasn’t kicked a single field goal at the professional level is a bit foolish. Even if Brown is the man to kick field goals in 2019, the 49ers would be wise to get a veteran in there to compete.
Luckily, there are a few kickers available.
The first one is Phil Dawson, Gould’s predecessor. Dawson’s numbers took a bit of a hit since leaving San Francisco. He made 80 percent of his field goals in 2017 (meh) and 62.5 percent in 2018 (yikes!). His awful percentage in 2018 came from missing two field goals in the 40-49 yard range and missing his sole attempt from 50+ yards. Dawson played in just 10 games in 2018 as well before going on IR, which hurts his percentage. Any way you look at it, that 2018 is bad, nearing the levels of David Akers in his last season with the 49ers. The injury could be to blame, and Dawson was very dependable in San Francisco.
The other one to think of is Matt Bryant. Bryant was released by the Atlanta Falcons and has yet to get picked up by another team. He’s been very reliable as a kicker, but there’s one problem: he kicked in a dome for a decade. So if he can do it in the windy weather of Levi’s Stadium, it’s a good replacement for Gould. A training camp battle would be just the way to figure this out but Bryant is not going to come cheap. Unlike Dawson, Bryant was effective in 2018, making 95.2 percent of his attempts. His lone miss came in the 50+ yards category.
Those are the top of the kicker hierarchy. From there you have names like Cody Parkey, or maybe the 49ers can convince Sebastian Janikowski to come out of retirement. The point is they have options. Options they will need to start looking at sooner rather than later.
What kicker would you bring to the 49ers?
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