(CBS) In a surprising move, the Bears have released veteran kicker Robbie Gould, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday night.
The 34-year-old Gould has played in Chicago for his entire 11-year career and is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. His field goal percentage of 85.4 ranks ninth in NFL history. Gould was 33-of-39 last year (84.6 percent) on field goals, though he did miss a couple crucial ones with games on the line. Gould was 5-of-6 this preseason on field goals, but he missed two extra points in Thursday’s preseason finale and had been inconsistent at times in practice.
Gould’s exit is a stunner in that the Bears hadn’t even brought in competition in training camp at the kicker position and only one week remains before the regular-season opener. The Bears will save $3 million by releasing him, The Athletic’s Dan Durkin reported.
Gould went undrafted and was signed by the Bears early in the 2005 season when he was working in the construction business.
Gould is the Bears’ all-time points leader and had been the team’s longest-tenured player, including the last remaining Bear to have played in the team’s Super Bowl trip in the 2006 season. Gould was a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro that season.