1. Robbie Gould
In a fairly surprising development, Gould indicated earlier this month that he will be leaving the 49ers and signing with another team in free agency. It seems like that’s his decision, but perhaps the team gave him indications they want to go in another direction after six years.
Gould spent his first 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears, posting a remarkable 85.4 percent field goal rate while playing half his games in the rough conditions of Soldier Field. After a partial season with the New York Giants in 2016, he made 95.1 percen of his field goals in his first year as a 49er in 2017. In 2018, he led the league and set a career best by making 97.1 percent of his field goals. A drop-off followed in 2019, but he has been steady since, matching the template of his entire career.
Plenty of teams have been mentioned as possible suitors for Gould, as expected, and a return to the 49ers shouldn’t be ruled out. He has said he doesn’t necessarily want to return to the Bears though, via The 33rd Team.
"I live here [Chicago] full-time but I don’t know if I want to kick in the cold anymore,” Gould said with a laugh. “I’d look to get a dome and some warm weather first. 40 years, 18 years of doing this, I deserve that I think.”"
-Playing home games in a dome, or in warm weather? Check for the Lions, on the dome part, though the prospect of December/January games in Green Bay or Chicago could turn Gould off.
-A team that could be quite good next season, such as a 40-year old kicker might have that preference? Check for the Lions there too.
-As much as it may be a factor for personal reasons, fairly close proximity to his maintained hometown of Chicago? Detroit checks that box as well.
If the Lions consider outside free agent kickers, it starts with Gould and everyone else follows.
Other notable free agent kickers the Lions could consider: Mason Crosby, Randy Bullock, Greg Zuerlein, Riley Patterson