The 49ers will be looking for a new kicker this offseason. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Robbie Gould said as much as he enjoyed his last six seasons in San Francisco, Gould will test free agency this month and expects to be kicking elsewhere in 2023.
Gould, 40, may want to return home to Chicago. Unless he feels there’s a team that would pay him more than what the 49ers are offering. Leading up to the NFC Championship, Gould said he wanted to win a Super Bowl.
If he doesn’t think the Niners are contenders, which teams needing a kicker would give Gould a better shot at winning a ring? There aren’t many.
John Lynch and Adam Peters, along with a few other scouts, are at the NFL Combine and presumably looking at kickers.
Here’s the list of free agent kickers:
Pineiro could be viewed as an upgrade:
Pineiro was one of the best kickers in the NFL in 2022. If the 49ers elect to move on from Robbie Gould, or Gould gets paid elsewhere, Pineiro could be considered an upgrade.
The 28-year-old to be made 33 of his 35 attempts last year, including 13 of 14 between 40–49 yards. That was an area where Gould struggled, as he made seven of 11 kicks between the same distance.
Not only in Pineiro a fantastic kicker, but half of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks in 2022. Instead of placing the franchise tag on Gould, the 49ers could use that money and get a younger, bigger leg who’s proven to be effective.
Steve Wilks knows the Panthers roster better than anybody, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him recruit his former players to the Bay Area. A Pineiro endorsement could go a long way with Shanahan.