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Gould gets 5-year extension from Bears
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould, here hitting a game-winning field goal in overtime win against Seattle, was given a 5-year extension by the Bears on Monday.

 

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

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Published: 5/12/2008 3:30 PM | Updated: 5/12/2008 11:51 PM

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The Bears on Monday signed Robbie Gould to the most lucrative contract for a kicker in NFL history according to his agent, Brian Mackler.

The five-year, $15 million contract extension (including incentives) exceeds the five-year, $14.2 million deal Josh Brown got from St. Louis two months ago and includes a slightly higher signing bonus ($4.2 million) than the $4 million the Rams' kicker received.

"It was an offer I couldn't pass up," said the 26-year-old Gould. "It's the right contract. It's fair for both sides. It's a win-win situation. Josh Brown's contract helped a great deal by setting the standard and some parameters. I'm very happy he got his done. It helped me."

Gould, who is entering the final year of his original contract at a base pay of $520,000, is now signed through 2013. He is the Bears' all-time field-goal percentage leader among kickers with at least 50 attempts, connecting on 84.8 percent of his kicks (84 of 99). He also has been successful on 99 of 100 extra-point attempts.

Gould is, thus far, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, although he needs 100 FG attempts to officially qualify among the leaders. If he makes his first kick in 2008, he will be the third-most accurate kicker in league history.

"One thing I've always tried to do is be consistent," he said. "The only way I could keep a job here is by being consistent."

Gould said the money won't change him as a player.

"Every year I want to be the best kicker in the NFL, and this won't stop me from working to do that," he said. "It won't stop me from being a competitor. I want to continue to be more consistent on field goals and get my kickoffs longer. I want to make every field goal. I want to let my teammates know they can count on me."

Gould owns Bears records with 26 straight field goals from Dec. 25, 2005-Nov. 19, 2006 and 22 straight games with a field goal from Oct. 23, 2005-Nov. 6, 2006.

Last season he hit 31 of 36 FG attempts (86.1 percent). A year earlier he was voted to the Pro Bowl and named a first-team all-pro after finishing second in the NFL in scoring and first among kickers with 143 points, converting 32 of 36 (88.9 percent) FG attempts and all 47 PATs.

In the sometimes-inclement Soldier Field weather, Gould has converted 39 of 45 FG attempts (86.7 percent), the highest accuracy all time among NFL kickers with at least 20 attempts at the stadium.

Gould has hit 5 game-winning field goals, including a 49-yarder in overtime of the 2006 NFC divisional playoff against the Seattle Seahawks.

The 6-foot, 183-pounder was signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2005 but released. He then spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, where he also was released.

In an October tryout with the Bears later that season, Gould outperformed several contenders and went on to hit 21 of 27 FG attempts as a rookie.

When he was summoned for the Bears tryout, Gould was working as a laborer for a construction company owned by a family friend near his home in Pennsylvania.

"It was supposed to be a week-to-week deal," Gould said, "and now it's turned out to be a long-term thing."

Several of Gould's teammates still are hoping for new deals or extensions from the Bears, including Pro Bowlers Tommie Harris, Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester.

"As for other players, I don't know their situations," Gould said. "I can't worry about my teammates. There's a pecking order. If I didn't get this done this year, maybe I'd have to wait until next year, but eventually I knew someone's going to pay me."