SANTA CLARA – As expected, 49ers general manager John Lynch was short on making promises and speaking in absolutes during his pre-draft session Monday with reporters inside the team’s draft room.
But Lynch made one clear projection about the 2019 season: Robbie Gould will be the 49ers’ kicker.
“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said of the 49ers’ unsigned franchise player. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.
“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”
#49ers GM John Lynch on where things stand with franchise-tagged kicker Robbie Gould and how the team’s reported interest in Stephen Gostkowski “quickly got the Patriots to lock him down.” pic.twitter.com/ivfaiMw6SI— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) April 23, 2019
The 49ers signed Gould to a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. As the team’s franchise player this season, he has a one-year contract for $4.9 million waiting for him. He has yet to sign the one-year tender, and Lynch said the 49ers would still like to work out a multi-year deal with him.
Gould is not taking part in the team’s offseason program. He is working on his own in the Chicago area. All indications are Gould did not want the 49ers to lock him up as the franchise player. He previously said he was looking forward to considering all options as an unrestricted free agent.
Gould, 36, ranks second all-time in NFL history with a field-goal accuracy of 87.745 percent.
The 49ers showed interest then-free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski, NBC Sports Bay Area reported on April 9. Just hours later – and shortly before Gostkowski was scheduled to make a trip to visit the 49ers – the New England Patriots re-signed him to a contract. Gostkowski ranks No. 3 in all-time field-goal accuracy.
“We’ve got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios, and Stephen was a free agent, and (he is) also very good,” Lynch said. “Our No. 1 priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie. Stephen was there. I think our interest quickly got the Patriots to lock him down.”
Lynch said he is not sure when Gould will sign and report to the team. Training camp opens in late-July, and the 49ers’ regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I can’t speak to when he’s going to be here,” Lynch said. “But when we kick it off, he’ll be here.”