Niners place franchise tag on kicker Robbie Gould

The Robbie Gould-to-Chicago reunion tour has been cancelled.

The San Francisco 49ers placed the franchise tag on Gould on Tuesday. He'll make around $5 million on the tag in 2019 after averaging $2 million over his first two years in San Francisco. That makes him the second highest-paid kicker in the league in 2019 behind Baltimore's Justin Tucker.

The 49ers are the first team to use their franchise tag in 2019 thus far.

The 36-year-old 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. Chicago's all-time leading scorer, Gould was released by the Bears ahead of the 2016 season after 11 seasons with the franchise.

As recently as this weekend, Gould was keeping his options open about a possible return to the Bears, who are currently in dire need of a kicker.

"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."

Now he knows. After striking gold in the Bay Area, Gould will stay there at least one more year.

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