Ever since Cody Parkey's now infamous "double doink" field target misses the ears of the NFC Wild Card Game, hype was built around a potential Bears and Robbie Gould reunion. Chicago's full-time score was set as a free agent, has his family resident in the Chicagoland area and would return to the bear with all accounts. The math filled up and made perfect sense for an otherwise complete Bears roster with a sharp hole in the kicker.
Unfortunately, the reunification will not happen when Gould's established team in the 49s placed a non-exclusive franchise mark on stalwart kicker reports ESPN's Adam Schefter . Gould is the first player in the 2019 NFL off-season to receive a franchise mark; which exemplifies its importance in an ongoing rebuilding in San Francisco and pushes away other teams like bears with a hole in his position.
Oh, remember to last forever:
Bears could technically make an offer to Gould in this event. As a non-exclusive player, the 36-year-old is free to negotiate with potential organizations interested in his services. However, 49ers can match any and every offer that Bears gives him. If they did not match a Chicago contract for Gould, 49ers would have the right to receive two first-round picks to compensate for losing him.
In other words, Bears general manager Ryan Pace would be crazy to risk losing the big draft capital to a kicker. It doesn't happen, so it's time for bears to look elsewhere.
When Bears does not correct what now looks like a gigantic mistake when they originally released Gould in 2016, their search for the proverbial kicker kicker must start elsewhere. There are opportunities in the free agent market such as Falcons, recently released 43-year-old Matt Bryant. Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski – who may even return to New England on his own franchise – can also be considered. Both would be significant and reliable upgrades; especially to Connor Barth and Cody Parkey, among others.
The much more likely route that Bears chooses to travel by setting a kicker is to play the pristine free game. If that means bringing someone from this year's class, then it is too. If it means giving somebody like Andy Phillips another chance it is not a terrible idea either. Some of pro's best active kickers like Ravens & # 39; Justin Tucker and Saints & # 39; Wil Lutz both went undrafted. Investing a late-round draft selection can also be in play as a guy like mega-legged Rams & Greg Zuerlein is a former sixth round pick.
Whatever Bears and General Manager Ryan Pace end up making them better at least has some competition in place and they are better prepared to be creative. Losing a chance at a Super Bowl with an otherwise well-rounded roster due to lack of kicker will not be tolerated again. If it wasn't fine, as Tempo & # 39; s Bears were not relevant, the heat would only grow into a warring team. Look at the reaction to Parkeys miss. Enlarge it ten times if another mistake in a postseason misses or two happens.
Why the bears do not choose to follow my sound advice and make an effort to ban any relevant kick is over me. That they would allow their fate and success with their quality lines to ever rest in the hands of one of the most stroke of football games is beyond me. Their real and most responsible solution is to ban kicks with the NFL Competition Committee and I say it seriously. I have said it long before the bear also had problems with the kicker. Look at the Vikings as an example. NFL football would be so much better without placekicking and you won't convince me otherwise.
Until the sensible movement takes place in pro-football (if ever it happens), Bears search for the kicker response continues relentlessly.
Robert is chief editor of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!) managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, writing for many fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @ Robert Zeglinski.