The Chicago Bears shocked its fans after releasing veteran kicker Robbie Gould. Rumors are swirling that the Bears wanted to sign a cheaper kicker in Connor Barth to replace Gould for the coming season.
Bizarre things have happened with days leading up to the season opening and the Bears joined the fray after cutting ties with Gould. The 34-year old is the last remaining member of the Bears’ roster that saw action at Super Bowl 41 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Prior to that, Gould’s 49-yard field goal in 2007 led the Bears to capture their first divisional playoff win since 1988 over the Seattle Seahawks. They would go on to capture the NFC championship title, beating the New Orleans Saint 39-14.
ESPN first reported Sunday that the Bears released Gould after signing Connor Barth, who released by the Los Angeles Rams. Gould signed a $9 million contract extension with the Bears back in 2013. He was about to make $2.9 million this season before the Bears decided to sign Barth to a cheaper contract.
Last season, Gould made 33 of 39 field goals, with a long of 55 yards, and 28 of 29 extra points. He managed touchbacks on 60.7 percent of his kickoffs. He is the most accurate kicker in the Bears’ history, making 85.4 percent of his field goals and is ninth all-time in NFL history.
Gould lost favor with the Bears’ organization after missing out two extra points on a field goal attempt against the Browns, Thursday in a pre-season match. Prior to that Gould made three field goals in the game that they dominated via 21-7. Gould thanked the Bears organization and its fans for the 11-seasons that he has played with the team since signing with them in 2005.
“Thank you to the Bears organization, teammates, coaches, and fans. Once a Bear, always a Bear,” Gould, posted on his Twitter account.
Now a free agent, Gould prepares to journey as he awaits calls from teams around the league who would want his service. In the meantime, Gould continues to work on finding his rhythm if a team would negotiate on bringing him into their roster.
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