It’s pretty clear with the drafting of Jake Moody, that the San Francisco 49ers were not going to be bringing Robbie Gould back. With the limited reports coming, it sounded as if Gould wanted to test free agency and made the decision to leave the 49ers. It made sense as this was the exact same story we experienced during his first contract extension.
Well, it turns out there might be a bit more to that narrative. It’s all in the details.
Speaking to Matt Maiocco during the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, Gould said he wanted to go back to the 49ers but the team never contacted him in free agency.
From Maiocco’s article:
“I would’ve loved to have gone back there,” Gould said at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Resort.
“I told them I wanted to go back there. We never got an offer from the team and we never had a conversation about coming back.”
We talked about the possibility of Gould returning to the 49ers back in April and from some reports it sounded like he was looking for a fresh start and playing closer to home. What those reports didn’t really clarify was that these came after it was apparent the 49ers weren’t bringing Gould back. On Maiocco’s “49ers Insider Podcast”, Gould explained the earlier speculation from Adam Schefter on not returning came after he knew he wasn’t coming back.
From what was said above, the decision may have more been made by the 49ers. Perhaps an offer didn’t show up because the 49ers decided to go with a rookie kicker that wouldn’t take $5 million of salary cap space. It’s not much, but they need every bit for Nick Bosa and Brandon Aiyuk. Maybe it’s the Bill Walsh philosophy of getting players off the team a year before it’s too late.
In any case, it sounds like the 49ers passed on him, just like the 31 other teams did during free agency. As I said before, this isn’t exactly Phil Dawson getting a bag of money at the start of free agency. No one said Gould was a slouch, and he most definitely will find a team, but it’s not like the 49ers missed out on a bidding war.
So what do you think the strategy here is? Sounds like the 49ers made a decision to go at least cheaper for the position (when they traded for Zane Gonzales) and then the decision to go younger when they picked up Jake Moody. If Gould wanted to come back and heard crickets, either the 49ers knew they couldn’t give him a decent offer to accept or they were ready to move on entirely.
In any case, it looks like Robbie Gould not being on the roster in 2023 was more than just him wanting to play closer to home. And this is the 49ers. I’m not going to say Gould won’t be back until the season starts and Moody makes his first field goal.
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