Former San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould decided to hang up the cleats on Thursday and announce his retirement.
Gould will go down was one of the best kickers of all time. He played from 2005 through 2022, and had an incredible 11 seasons where he made at least 85 percent of his kicks.
His time in the Bay Area didn’t always go smoothly. Gould came to the 49ers in 2017. The team had placed the franchise tag on him in February 2019, which led to Gould requesting a trade a few months later.
Gould made two game-winning kicks that season, both coming in December, where he earned Special Teams player of the month. But it was his perfection in the postseason that earned Gould his reputation. Both of his kicks made in the Super Bowl that year brought his playoff career total to 15-for-15. Two seasons later, in 2021, Gould hit the game-winning 45-yard field goals.
During the 2022 playoff run, Gould needed to make four field goals against Seattle and Dallas. He was the example of consistency.
Gould wrote about his time with the 49ers in the Player’s Tribune. Gould mentioned Kyle Shanahan and the Niners culture as the reason he wanted to sign as a free agent:
“A free agent the following season, I headed to San Francisco to join the Niners. It didn’t take more than two words to convince me that I wanted to play in that city. Kyle. Shanahan. His personal talent as arguably the best coach in the business, combined with that offense? I had zero hesitation about wanting to be a part of that culture. San Francisco may not have had the best record at the time, but the thought of what that team could become from a long-term perspective was impressive to me.”
January of 2022. Playoffs. Green Bay vs. San Fran. Lambeau Field. It’s 10–10. Ball on the right hash. Four seconds left on the clock. Jimmy G. had just taken the Niners offense 44 yards in nine plays against the top-seeded Packers. Deebo and Juszczyk had huge plays to give us a shot to win it from 45 and send San Francisco to the NFC Championship.
The temperature was below zero, and it felt exactly the way it did when I played in the Windy City. Snow was falling, and the ground was soft. It wasn’t ideal, but none of that mattered; as a kicker, it was one of those moments I lived for every time I stepped on the field. And then….
We nailed it right down the middle.
Just like that, the game was over.
Congrats to Gould on an excellent career and to a player who is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.