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After Bears sign kicker Austin Signor, Gould welcomes the competition

With Adam Podlesh holding Robbie Gould kicks game tying field goal as time ran out fourth quarter play. The Chicago

With Adam Podlesh holding, Robbie Gould kicks a game tying field goal as time ran out in the fourth quarter of play. The Chicago Bears fell to the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 in overtime Sunday December 2, 2012 at Soldier Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 22, 2013 4:45PM

Kicker Robbie Gould is ready to compete for his job with the Bears.

‘‘Thanks for all the support,’’ Gould said on his Twitter account after the Bears signed kicker Austin Signor to a three-year deal Friday. ‘‘Competition is part of football and what makes players and teams great. I’m excited to work with Austin.’’

Gould didn’t take part in coach Marc Trestman’s first minicamp last week because of a leg injury suffered while warming up before the Bears’ game Dec. 9 against the Minnesota Vikings. Former coach Lovie Smith initially said Gould suffered an injury to his left calf, but ESPN reported Gould — who ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K two weeks ago — had surgery in January to repair a ruptured tendon.

The Bears signed veteran Olindo Mare to take Gould’s place after he was put on
injured reserve Dec. 12.

Signor, an undrafted free agent, was in minicamp on a tryout basis, spending time with long snapper Patrick Mannelly, punter Adam Podlesh and kick returner Devin Hester.

Signor played at Iowa (2006-07) and Eastern Illi-
nois (2008-09). He earned first-team All-Ohio Valley honors as a senior in 2009, making 14 of 22 field goals and all 34 extra points.

Gould, a fan favorite, is in the final year of his contract and counts almost $3 million
against the Bears’ salary cap. He ranks fourth in field-goal accuracy in NFL history (208-for-243, 86 percent), has been the Bears’ kicker since 2005 and made the Pro Bowl in 2006.

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