The 49ers have not used the franchise tag since 2012 when they applied it to safety Dashon Goldson. They avoided it last year by signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal.
The team hopes to get a long-term done executed with kicker Robbie Gould before the March 5 franchise tag deadline, but if they don’t get a deal done, the 49ers appear poised to use the tag on Gould, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
While Gould said he is ready to “consider all opportunities,” it doesn’t appear the 49ers will give him an opportunity to test the free agent waters and for good reason(s).
Gould, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, made 72 of 75 field goals in his two seasons in San Francisco. The free agent tag for kickers is expected to be around $5 million, and the 49ers have plenty of salary cap room.
Plus, Gould’s former team, the Bears, likely would quickly pursue him. Gould is building a home in Chicago.
So expect Gould to stay in San Francisco at least one more season if not long term.