SANTA CLARA — 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that they understand Robbie Gould’s desire to live closer to his family in Chicago, but they will not honor his request for a trade.
One of the most unexpected calls asking the 49ers for a trade prior to the NFL draft wasn’t a call from another team. It was from their veteran kicker. This came shortly after Lynch confidently stated that Gould would be part of the team in 2019.
Gould still has not signed his franchise tender worth $4.9 million that would make him one of the highest-paid kickers in the league. He also has not reported to the team’s voluntary workouts.
“Yeah, you know, we placed a franchise tag on him,” Lynch said. “Robbie is not here with us. These are voluntary workouts right now.
“As I said the other day, Robbie is a guy who we respect in a big way for the way he's performed for us, for the teammate he's been, and we're hopeful that we can figure something out to keep him here for a long time.”
Lynch remains confident that Gould will be at the facility by Week 1 of the regular season, and also has no doubt that the kicker will be ready to play. If Gould holds out or does not perform well during the regular season, he would hurt his chances of landing another job in 2020, when he would be 37 years old.
“Robbie had his comments,” Lynch said. “We’ll choose to deal directly with Robbie, not through the media in terms of the negotiations and all. But we're hopeful we can find some resolution on this thing, and in the interim, we know Robbie will be ready to play.”
Shanahan also appeared to have no doubt that Gould would report by September, but the coach also understood that 2019 likely will be the kicker’s final year with the 49ers.
“Yeah, we love having Robbie here,” Shanahan said. “We understand that he doesn't want to live here long term, and he's made that clear to us, and we get that. But we do have a franchise tag, and he's that good of a kicker that he's worth franchising.
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“So, unfortunately we know we're not going to have him long term here. I think that's been pretty clear. No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons. But pretty excited to have a good kicker this year.”
When asked if the team would trade Gould, Shanahan succinctly replied, “No.”