General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan say they will not meet Gould’s request for a trade.
“We love having Robbie here,” Shanahan told reporters at team headquarters Thursday night during the NFL draft. “We understand that he doesn’t want to live here long term. He’s made that clear to us, and we get that.
“But we do have a franchise tag, and he’s that good of a kicker that he’s worth franchising. Unfortunately, we know we’re not going to have him long term. That’s been pretty clear. No hard feelings about that. I do understand his reasons. But I’m pretty excited to have a good kicker this year.”
Gould informed the 49ers on Tuesday he was no longer interested in negotiating a long-term deal under the franchise tag. He asked to be traded and is willing to hold out of training camp. ESPN reported Gould’s request, quoting Gould and his agent.
Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer, still lives with his family in suburban Chicago. He has said he wants to be based here, and he has repeatedly expressed fondness for the team that cut him before the 2016 season.
The Bears, of course, are searching for a kicker. They desperately need to stabilize a position that has been a disappointment since they cut Gould. They have never publicly expressed a willingness to bring Gould back, and they have three young, unproven NFL prospects on their roster.
To hear Lynch explain it Thursday, Gould won’t be departing via trade.
“Robbie is a guy who we respect in a big way for the way he has performed for us, for the teammate he’s been,” Lynch said. “We’re hopeful that we can figure something out to keep him here for a long time.
“Robbie had his comments. We’ll choose to deal directly with Robbie, not through the media, in terms of the negotiations and all. But we’re hopeful we can find some resolution on this thing. And in the interim, we know Robbie will be ready to play.”