Remember that time when the Bears tried out like 47 kickers and put them through a wide variety of arbitrary tests all while fan favorite Robbie Gould was using the team's desperation as leverage to become the NFL's highest-paid kicker? Classic!
It's been like three months since those totally-sane summer days, and reader, things have not gone so hot for Gould:
Meanwhile, Eddy P is not only 8/9 on the season, but is already well on his way to becoming a fan favorite. We're already calling him Eddy P! After 5 games!
That said, we won't truly know if the Bears made the right decision until Piñeiro beats out several Hall of Famers -- including someone credited for literally starting the NFL -- on the path to winning an offseason bracket-style fan vote.
The Bears were haunted all offseason by Cody Parkey's double-doink that ended their playoff aspirations in the Wild Card round against the Eagles.
To be fair, a lot of that inability to put Parkey's tipped kick past them was because they countinued to bring it up and dwell on it.
But the offseason was dedicated to finding Parkey's replacement, which included a reality TV style competition and some flirtation with former kicker Robbie Gould who was franchised tagged by the 49ers but tried to force his way out.
In the Bay Area, Gould re-signed with the 49ers and in Chicago, Eddy Pineiro won the competition.
And on Thursday night, Pineiro scored the only points for the Bears while Gould doinked a field goal attempt. A single doink, that is.
To be fair to Gould, it was a 57-yard field goal so he was going for some extreme distance. The Bears wouldn't even let Pineiro try a 51-yard field goal on Thursday night, instead opting to go for it on 4th-and-10. The Bears didn't convert.
This missed kick by Gould doesn't validate the Bears not bringing him back, just like Pineiro's single field goal doesn't validate the Bears' intense kicker search.
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The dream plenty of you reading this is dead: Robbie Gould will not be coming back to the Bears.
The placekicker reportedly inked a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers Monday morning, beating the NFL's deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year deals:
That figure of $15 million guaranteed is the highest among contracts for active kickers, beating out the $12.5 million the Baltimore Ravens guaranteed Justin Tucker. The Bears guaranteed $9 million to Cody Parkey in their ill-fated four-year deal with him last year.
Gould had refused to sign the franchise tag after the 49ers placed it on him earlier this year, holding out for the team to trade him so he could play closer to his family in the Chicagoland area. He didn't show up to any of the 49ers voluntary and mandatory workouts or practices during the spring, and there was speculation he could hold out well into training camp and perhaps even into the regular season in the hopes of forcing a trade. The Bears always seemed to make the most sense on the surface, though Ryan Pace's preference has been (and still is) to inexpensively find a solution to his team's kicking woes. Gould never represented that, as the hefty contract he and the 49ers agreed to indicates.