suntimes
ALOOF 
Weather Updates

Bears kicker Robbie Gould signs four-year extension

Updated: January 29, 2014 6:13AM



It took fewer than five days to consummate the deal and to buck general manager Phil Emery’s parameters — he wasn’t inclined to offer in-season contract extensions — from earlier this year.

On Friday, kicker Robbie Gould — the most vocal player in opposition to Emery’s no-extension training-camp statement — became the first Bear with an expiring deal to settle his contract.

He hopes he’s not the last, either.

Gould’s four-year extension is reportedly worth $9 million guaranteed — a record for a kicker — and $15 million overall, but he hopes there’s room for the Bears’ best-known players to re-sign.

About half his teammates are in the final year of their contracts.

“We’ve got something special here,” he said at Halas Hall. “You’ve got guys — Jay Cutler, Devin Hester, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, James Anderson — that are up that if the deal we’ve struck gives a little extra money to keep guys around, then I’m all for it.”

On Monday, Gould’s agent, Brian Mackler, called the Bears to discuss his client.

Emery said Gould’s new deal was helped along because the Bears “realized we were going to have some leftover [salary-cap] space” saved in case they needed to add players this season.

“I announced at the beginning of the year that we weren’t inclined to sign extensions,” Emery said, “and that, primarily, was about our cap space at the time.”

Internally, the Bears became open to extensions over the last few weeks, Emery said.

Gould admitted he “could have gone out in the market and made it a bidding war,” but he said he’s “not going to go out and moan over a couple hundred thousand dollars.”

“Negotiations can go as fast as you want,” he said.

“It’s all about, can you get on the same page? Do they have the same value or number in mind that you have?

“I think, realistically, it was probably the easiest negotiation I’ve ever been a part of.”

More than anything, he realized he wanted to stay in Chicago.

“I thought it was important that I remain a Bear,” Gould said.

“I think it means a lot for my career. I think it means a lot to be able to do some things down the road individually.

“If I’m going to hold a trophy up, I want to hold it up with the Chicago Bears.”

Gould — in his ninth season with the Bears — seemed amazed that he’s 96 points from breaking Kevin Butler’s franchise record of 1,116.

The third-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Gould said he always has strived to be the best who ever played and that his work ethic won’t change because of his new deal.

He has made 26 of 29 attempts with one miss — “One kick that if I could have back, I would,” — coming in the overtime loss to the Vikings.

“I couldn’t see myself playing in another jersey,” he said. “I’d just look funny in another color, I think.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.