Just when you think you've seen every conceivable NFL news story, a kicker comes out and demands a trade. Yes, a kicker! Robbie Gould, the 49ers kicker who received the franchise tag from San Francisco this offseason, has taken a heel turn and decided not to play for the franchise in 2019.
Gould told Adam Schefter of ESPN he no longer wants to be in San Francisco and that he has no interest in reporting to the 49ers this offseason.
"At this time, we are unsure when or if he will report," Gould's agent Brian Mackler told Schefter. "It will not be prior to Sept. 8, at the earliest, if at all."
Apparently Gould got sick of negotiating with the 49ers over the last "14 months," and wants to be closer to his family. Gould was released by the Bears (which, in hindsight, was not a great idea and ended up with the Bears losing a playoff game on a missed field goal and then cutting Cody Parkey after the season), played for the Giants for a year and then signed with the 49ers, where he's kicked the last two seasons.
His wife and children stayed in Chicago, which pretty clearly has become a strain for the kicker.
"The bottom line is, I'm unsure if I want to play there anymore," Gould told Schefter. "At this point, I have to do what's best for me and my family back home."
Gould was soured on the 49ers negotiating with former Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski when New England didn't tag him and Gostkowski hit free agency. Gostkowski would ultimately sign back with the Pats.
This is a tough spot to be in for the 49ers. When Gould was franchise tagged, he instantly became the highest-paid kicker in the NFL. They're heavily invested in him, although I do not believe Gould has signed his tag, meaning the 49ers could rescind it were they so inclined.
But this is a team interested in contending this year. Now they're missing one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL over the last few years. They probably thought at some point a long-term deal was coming with Gould, or at least a deal that would keep Gould happy over the next two to three years.
That's clearly not the case now. Gould has made it clear he wants to be in Chicago, has made it clear he doesn't want to negotiate with the 49ers and made it clear that he wants to be traded.
Your move, John Lynch. Or maybe yours, Ryan Pace.