Could 49ers kicker Robbie Gould return to Bears?

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Chicago needs a kicker.

That much is clear after Friday's report from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that the Bears intend to release embattled booter Cody Parkey when the new league year begins on March 13.

The journeyman Parkey landed in Chicago in 2018 where he converted 23 of 30 regular-season field-goal tries, missing three between 30-39 yards and three extra-point tries. By the time the Bears made the playoffs, Parkey had not quite ingratiated himself to the Chicago fanbase. And then, the Double Doink happened.

Parkey's last-second miss in Chicago's Wild Card Weekend loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and subsequent interview on "The Today Show" assured his departure from the club after just one campaign.

With Parkey exiting, among the Bears' options in their attempt to move forward is to look backward and in the direction of a cast-off fan favorite: Robbie Gould.

The 36-year-old kicker is an impending free agent after two seasons in San Francisco. Gould spent the bulk of his 14-year career with the Bears and said Friday that he understands the Chicago fan base's demands for his return.

"Once a Bear always a Bear," Gould said, per the Associated Press. "I truly mean that. This is where I spent 11 years of my life playing for an awesome organization. I've developed a lot of great relationships throughout the city but also the organization, just like I've done in New York, just like I've done in San Francisco. Will it happen? I don't know."

Gould has been an ace for the Niners over the last two seasons, knocking in 72 of 75 field-goal attempts and leading the league in field-goal percentage (97.1) in 2018. San Francisco can franchise-tag Gould if it deems fit and keep the Chicago resident by the Bay for another season.

"They have the opportunity to get a contract done with me," Gould explained. "Obviously, they have exclusive rights to talk to me until free agency opens. There's no reason not to. ... At this point, I'm just enjoying being around my kids and not really worried about the football contract."

After 11 seasons with the team, Gould was released by the Bears ahead of the 2016 season with two years remaining on his deal. He left as the franchise's all-time scoring leader. Could he return a savior?

"The McCaskey family (owners) changed my family's life," Gould said. "They gave us a lot of great opportunities in one of the greatest sports cities you'll ever find. I'm thankful that they gave me that opportunity. I'll be forever thankful. My kids will be raised Bears fans. This is home."

The deadline to franchise- or transition-tag a player is March 5. If Gould isn't under contract in San Francisco by then, the Bears legend could return home to a fan base desperate for a familiar face and an accurate kicker.

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