Robbie Gould excited 49ers 'stepped up big time' to bring him back

Robbie Gould excited 49ers 'stepped up big time' to bring him back

It seemed to be the perfect opportunity. After missing a critical kick that kept the Chicago Bears from advancing to the NFC Divisional Round, fans were clamoring for an improved kicker. 49ers kicker Robbie Gould became one of the NFL's best kickers in his 11 seasons with the Bears, as he currently sits second in NFL history in field-goal percentage behind current Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker.

Gould was unhappy with the San Francisco 49ers after being franchise tagged this offseason, and with his family still living in the Windy City, the stars appeared to be aligning for the NFC North Champions to bring Gould back home. 

Gould was the most recent guest of the Adam Schefter Podcast and spoke about what was a stressful offseason for the 36-year-old after he finally agreed to sign a two-year deal with the 49ers on Monday.

"It's a tough situation for sure, you know Chicago's home for me. I have a permanent house here in Chicago, it will always be home," said Gould. "I love the (Chicago Bears) organization. I played here for 11 years, I'm the all-time leading scorer."

The financial terms of Gould's deal with the 49ers were not disclosed, but it reportedly a fully guaranteed two-year, $10.5 million deal with an option that could make it a four-year, $18 million contract, $15 million of which would be guaranteed.

"Who knows what would have happened if something didn't get done, but the 49ers stepped up big-time to get this done," Gould said. 

Entering his fifteenth season, Gould also spoke about how his priorities affected his decision-making process.

"The big thing for me is that I wanted to be close to my family, and in the beginning in the entire conversation with the 49ers they knew it would have to take at least two years to fully guaranteed in a contract to get me to come back and they were able to make that happen," he said.

Gould's agent had requested a trade from San Francisco in April, but 49ers general manager John Lynch was determined to keep one of the league's best in the Bay and the two sides were able to work out a deal just before Monday's deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals.

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As the 2019 season gets closer and closer, Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan can rest easy knowing that another position on the depth chart is solidified going into training camp.

49ers need to add wide receiver to give Jimmy Garoppolo another option

49ers need to add wide receiver to give Jimmy Garoppolo another option

NBC Sports Bay Area will preview the NFL Draft with a look at the 49ers’ top needs, profiles of prospects that might be good fits, along with some hidden gems in the later rounds. In this installment we examine why the 49ers have a need at wide receiver.

The class of wide receivers is strong at the top with more than a handful of expected first-round draft picks.

But what might separate the 2020 NFL Draft from other years is there could be a strong receiver available for nearly every team that wants one through the middle rounds, too.

“It’s a really good class,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. “You can kind of get whatever flavor you like.

“If you like smaller, quicker guys, those guys are there. If you like the big guys that can move, those guys are there. If you like speed, that's there. If you like separators. ... So, I think the whole league's kind of smiling about that.”

The 49ers need more contributing pass-catchers than last season, when coach Kyle Shanahan had trust in only three wide receivers toward the end of the season.

In the Super Bowl, 49ers wide receivers were on the field for a combined 140 snaps. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders, a mid-season pickup in a trade with the Denver Broncos, played 55 of the 49ers’ 58 offensive plays. Deebo Samuel was on the field for 51 offensive plays, followed by Kendrick Bourne (28) and Richie James (6).

Sanders signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent, which leaves the 49ers with a major hole to fill on offense.

The 49ers signed slot receiver Travis Benjamin to a one-year contract as a free agent. The club anticipates the returns of Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd after both players missed the entire season with injuries.

It will take a combination of players to compensate for what Sanders brought to the club throughout the second half of the season.

The 49ers own the Nos. 13 and 31 picks in the draft. And they could use that first selection on a wide receivers. The top options are Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma) and Henry Ruggs (Alabama).

If the 49ers trade back from No. 13 or use their second first-rounder to select a wideout, Justin Jefferson (LSU), Tee Higgins (Clemson), Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado), Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State) and Denzel Mims (Baylor) are among the possibilities.

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Do the 49ers need to come out of his draft with a No. 1 wideout? Maybe not. Tight end George Kittle is the team’s No. 1 target, and Samuel is to be a good fit for the offense. Bourne proved to be reliable and could take on more responsibility, too.

The 49ers, however, can benefit from a player who can stress a defense, whether he’s a deep threat on the outside, a red-zone target or a reliable player working the middle of the field to give Jimmy Garoppolo another option on third downs.

This draft has plenty of options for whatever it is the 49ers desire.

Vernon Davis explains why 49ers responded to Jim Harbaugh as coach

Vernon Davis explains why 49ers responded to Jim Harbaugh as coach

From 2003 to 2010, the 49ers were a ship that was adrift in the ocean.

San Francisco went through four coaches during that span, until they hired Jim Harbaugh away from Stanford in 2011.

Harbaugh was a game-changer, and former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis explained why in a recent interview with Niners Nation.

"I think Harbaugh changed up the culture and the way we approached the game as a team," Davis told Jas Kang. "That’s what you’ll see throughout history of sports; sometimes it takes that. That’s what it took for us. A culture change in the way we approached the game. Not saying that coach Singletary and the rest of the group did a horrible job, they did a great job. But certain players and certain teams respond differently to certain coaches. That’s what happened to us; once Harbaugh came in, we were able to grow and transcend and play together. The synergy was there for us to be a championship team. We catapulted, and it all started to happen for us."

Before Harbaugh arrived, the 49ers went 46-82 with no NFL playoff appearances in eight seasons under Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary and Jim Tomsula.

In Harbaugh's first season, the 49ers won 13 games and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game.

[RELATED: Davis explains emotions after "The Catch III']

The 49ers made it to the Super Bowl in Harbaugh's second season, but came up short against the Baltimore Ravens.

While Harbaugh couldn't finish the job, and was ultimately fired after his fourth season, he was the change the franchise needed nearly 10 years ago.