The 49ers placed the franchise tag on kicker Robbie Gould, but the team is also showing interest in New England Patriots free agent Stephen Gostkowski, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday.
Perhaps, sparked by the 49ers' interest in him, the Patriots re-signed Gostkowski to a two-year contract just hours after this report. The Patriots and Gostkowski had reportedly made no progress toward a contract agreement in the months leading up to Tuesday.
Gould and Gostkowski rank Nos. 2 and 3 all-time in NFL field-goal accuracy at 87.745 and 87.381, respectively, behind Justin Tucker. Gould is 36, while Gostkowski is 35.
Gould has not signed his franchise tender yet.
The 49ers and Gould appear to be at odds over the team’s decision to lock him up for this season on the franchise tag. Gould has made it clear he wanted to be able to explore his options as a free agent, especially the possibility of a return to Chicago, where he played his first 11 NFL seasons.
But the 49ers restricted Gould's ability to choose where he will kick in 2019 with the one-year, $4.971 million tag. Gould originally signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.
General manager John Lynch said recently at the NFL owners meeting the 49ers worked hard on a multi-year extension for Gould before placing the franchise tag on him in March. Lynch said he wanted to continue to have discussions with Gould’s representatives. But negotiations appeared to be at an impasse.
“That’s not dead, either,” Lynch said. “I think the franchise gives you some flexibility in that the player is a part of you, but we’re still trying to figure it out and (will) probably take another go at trying to figure this out. It takes everyone wanting to do that. We’ll see if that’s a reality or not.”
Gostkowski has played his entire 13-year career with Patriots after replacing Adam Vinatieri at the beginning of the 2006 season. He has appeared in all 200 regular-season games, as well as 28 postseason games. Gostkowski is a four-time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time All-Pro, and a three-time Super Bowl champion.