By: Joe Zollo
With the 2019 league year looming in the coming weeks, the franchise tag is starting to be thrown out there for certain players but the first person to get it is San Francisco 49ers placekicker Robbie Gould. The former Chicago Bear has been one of the most consistent kickers over the past couple seasons.
Since 2017, Robbie Gould has the most field goals with 72, beating out Justin Tucker at 69 and Greg Zuerlein at 65, and he holds the best field goal percentage at 96%, beating out Michael Badgley at 93.8% and Graham Gano at 93.5%.
Statistically, Gould has been one of the best kickers and it is understandable on why they did franchise tag him but why not just re-sign him? That tag can be put to good use on a different player who would not demand as much money on a year-to-year contract. I am sure this is some form of a strategic move that John Lynch has up his sleeve to make a big splash at the start of the league year like possibly getting Antonio Brown.
San Francisco sits in the top 5 in terms of most cap space heading into free agency and they are looking to surround Jimmy Garappolo with young and versatile talent. They are not bringing back veteran Pierre Garcon and have seemingly been trying to get younger across the board but you can't deny the talent 30-year-old Antonio Brown has.
Franchising the kicker may prove costly for San Francisco but it also could prove to be a great move. Kickers over the past years have begun to struggle year-to-year and having a rental on that franchise tag allows the team to evaluate if they want to move forward with Gould or not beyond 2019.