On Friday, the Chicago Bears announced that the team and kicker Robbie Gould have come to an agreement on a 4-year contract extension.
The extension will take the Bears and Gould through the 2017 season. The deal is expected to be worth $15 million with more than $9 million of that being guaranteed.
When the off-season began, Bears general manager Phil Emery stated that the team will not be negotiating contract extensions with players during the regular season. That was a stance that did not sit well with Gould before the season.
“Let me put it to you this way,” Gould told ESPN Chicago 1000 in July. “If they wanted a guy, they’re going to find a way to sign him if it meant that much to them.”-Robbie Gould, ESPN Chicago
On Friday, Gould expressed that remaining a Bear was what was important to him.
“I was probably one of the more outspoken guys in the beginning of training camp. I think everyone kind of knows that,” Gould said. “This is a special day for a lot of reasons. When you get into what I consider the last part of your deal and you become a little up-in-[arms], you kind of realize maybe what’s more important. You have to sit around and think about where you want to be, places to go. So we reached out to the organization. I thought it was important I remained a Bear.”-Gould, ESPN Chicago
Gould was certainly worthy the contract extension. Beyond being the third-most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL, Gould is also one of the unquestioned leaders of the team.
Emery admitted to as much when speaking about Gould on Friday.
“We were able to come to the conclusion that worked very well for Robbie and worked very well for the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bear fans,” Emery said. “Just can’t say enough about Robbie as a person. It’s about the athlete. He speaks of what we want as a Chicago Bear: excellence on the field, excellence off the field.”-Phil Emery, ESPN Chicago
The Chicago Bears have a high number of players with expiring contracts at the end of the season. That is why there is nothing wrong with Emery starting his off-season agenda early and locking up an important piece to the Bears long-term future in Gould.