“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said. “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.”
Gould joined the 49ers in March 2017 on a two-year, $4 million contract. The 49ers placed the franchise tag on him on February 26, though the 36-year-old kicker has yet to sign the one-year, $4.9 million tender.
According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Gould is not participating in the 49ers' offseason program—he isn't obligated to do so— instead working out in the Chicago area. NBC Sports Bay Area also reported that the 49ers hope to re-sign Gould to a multi-year deal and spoke to the kicker's representation at the NFL Combine.
Lynch's declaration doesn't guarantee that Gould will sign the franchise tender, but it does indicate that he isn't on the market. Essentially, if Gould plays in the NFL in 2019, he will be with the 49ers.
Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry was once considered an elite NFL defender, especially after he returned to the gridiron following a battle with cancer in 2014. He resumed his status as one of the best safeties in the league, but a torn Achilles in 2017 limited him to just two games between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
He was out of football in 2019, and according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, it was an intentional decision by Berry who had suitors on the open market.
With Berry ready to make his return to the league, and the Bears potentially in the market for a safety this offseason, wide receiver Allen Robinson offered a pretty surprising comment on Twitter suggesting Berry would be an upgrade over what Chicago fielded in 2019 with Eddie Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
It's also worth noting that Clinton-Dix had a pretty strong first season as a Bear. One could argue he'll be more hotly pursued on the open market than Berry, whose best football is in the rear-view mirror at 31 years old.
It's common for players to softly recruit respected veteran free agents through social media and other means this time of year. The Bears may have no choice but to sign a player like Berry who should come at a discounted rate compared to Clinton-Dix this offseason. But if Clinton-Dix does return, it'll be interesting to monitor the locker-room dynamic in training camp.
It's been 13 years since Devin Hester took the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI back for a touchdown in one of the most electrifying moments in Chicago sports history.
As the football world converges in South Beach for only the second time since that night, Hester –– who will be in Miami all week on behalf of the NFL-affiliated company On Location Experiences -- talked with NBC Sports Chicago about what it was like in that moment.
"Oh man, it was nerve-wracking for me," he said. "Being a rookie coming into the NFL and then playing in the one of the biggest games of the year, the Super Bowl, and not only that, but to be the first one to touch the ball, it was intense."
"I was very nervous. At the same time, I was one of the players that always wanted the ball in my hands on big stages, so knowing that opportunity was a 50/50 chance of me getting it first, I just wanted to make that opportunity if I did get that chance to get my hands on the ball the first play of the game."
And if that wasn't impressive enough, the touchdown isn't even the clear-cut favorite for Hester's favorite play, and for good reason:
"I would say it had to be in the top 2. My other one was pretty much the same thing, my first year in college, first game of the season. Pretty much the same thing, taking the opening kickoff back. Those two have to be the favorite moments of my career."