Fri Feb 22 6:29pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
In this Dec. 16, 2018, file photo, San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Chicago Bears would like to upgrade at kicker and Robbie Gould figures to hit the free agent market. The idea of bringing back the franchise's all-time scoring leader sure is a tantalizing one for Chicago fans, particularly in the wake of Cody Parkey's struggles. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
In this Jan. 3, 2016, file photo, then-Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould (9) watches his field goal against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, in Chicago. The Chicago Bears would like to upgrade at kicker and Robbie Gould figures to hit the free agent market. The idea of bringing back the franchise's all-time scoring leader sure is a tantalizing one for Chicago fans, particularly in the wake of Cody Parkey's struggles. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes, File)
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) As the ball hit the upright and crossbar, Robbie Gould could imagine how Cody Parkey felt. The Chicago Bears' breakthrough season came to a crushing conclusion, particularly for their embattled kicker.
''I've been there,'' he said. ''I've missed game-winning kicks, too.''
Gould was there, watching from a suite at Soldier Field with his wife and three young sons as Parkey's 43-yard attempt in the closing seconds of a 16-15 wild-card loss to defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia hit the left upright and then the crossbar. That the ball was touched by the Eagles' Treyvon Hester was of little consolation. And knowing that Gould was in the building but not in uniform made it sting that much more for Chicago.
With the Bears looking for an upgrade at kicker and their all-time leading scorer scheduled to become a free agent on March 13, the million dollar - or multimillion dollar - question is whether a return to Chicago is imminent.
''The McCaskey family (owners) changed my family's life,'' Gould said. ''They gave us a lot of great opportunities in one of the greatest sports cities you'll ever find. I'm thankful that they gave me that opportunity. I'll be forever thankful. My kids will be raised Bears fans. This is home.''
Gould spoke Friday at the Chicago Golf Show. He is promoting a software system called Eventlify that helps organizers manage all aspects of golf events.
Gould converted more than 85 percent of his field goals and missed just four of his 383 extra points as a member of the Bears from 2005-15. He amassed 1,207 points before general manager Ryan Pace and former coach John Fox let him go just before the start of the 2016 season.
In the three years since he has combined to make 82 of 85 field goals for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. Chicago kickers, by comparison, are 57 of 75 in that span.
Parkey simply didn't give the Bears the consistency they've been seeking since letting Gould go. Signed to a four-year contract last March, he made 23 of 30 field goals for the third-lowest conversion rate in the NFL. He was 42 of 45 on extra points. Six of his misses, counting the playoffs, hit uprights. And he didn't endear himself to the team's hierarchy by appearing on the ''Today'' show a few days after that playoff loss, a move coach Matt Nagy referred to as ''a `me' thing.''
The Bears would face a $5.2 million salary cap hit if they release Parkey without a June 1 designation. And Gould might command a rather high price, particularly if the 49ers place the franchise tag on him.
''They have the opportunity to get a contract done with me,'' he said. ''Obviously, they have exclusive rights to talk to me until free agency opens. There's no reason not to. ... At this point, I'm just enjoying being around my kids and not really worried about the football contract.''
Gould insisted he has no hard feelings toward the Bears for letting him go. He was shaky in the 2016 preseason after missing six field goals the previous year to match a career high he set as a rookie. But he has been just about automatic the past three years thanks to some adjustments in his footwork. At 36, he plans to play ''until they tell me no.''
Gould still lives in the Chicago area. His wife Lauren is from here. And in a few weeks, they plan to move into the house in the northwest suburbs built on property purchased just a few days before the Bears cut him.
The Bears, meanwhile, went 12-4 to win the NFC North in Nagy's first season after four straight last-place finishes. Gould called him the ''perfect fit'' for the organization. He mentioned the connection to Kansas City, where Nagy worked on Andy Reid's staff, and longtime Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub has served in the same role since 2013. And he said he also keeps in touch with current Chicago special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.
''Once a Bear always a Bear,'' he said. ''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.''
Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin announced on Sunday that he is retiring from the NFL after 10 years. Maclin was drafted in the first round in 2009 and spent six seasons with the Eagles alongside DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy. He is the 10th leading receiver in Philly franchise history after compiling 343 catches, 4,771 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns. Maclin spent the last three years struggling with the Chiefs and Ravens.
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL Sunday, March 24.
Fantasy Spin: The Patriots have lost Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen this offseason, so they probably will be looking for a tight end early in the 2019 NFL Draft. None of the other tight ends on the Patriots roster have a lot of fantasy value.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced on Sunday that he is retiring. The 29-year-old Gronk finished on a high note in the postseason and goes out on top with another Super Bowl ring, but he struggled to gain separation from defenders in the regular season and finished with 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season in 13 games. Gronkowski had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons and amassed a whopping 79 regular season scores in his nine-year career. He'll go down as one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history. With Gronk no longer around, Stephen Anderson will be the top tight end on the depth chart, although he won't be much of a fantasy consideration. Losing Gronk as a safety blanket will surely affect quarterback Tom Brady negatively moving forward.
Free-agent WR Jeremy Maclin (Ravens) announced his retirement Sunday, March 24.
Free-agent DE Michael Johnson (Bengals) is not expected to re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.
The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent safety George Iloka to an undisclosed one-year deal on Saturday, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. The seven-year safety played the first six seasons of his career with the Bengals but disappointed with only 16 tackles in 16 games (three starts) for the Vikings in 2018. It's looking like Iloka will have a starting role with his new team in Dallas.
Denver Broncos CB Bryce Callahan (foot) is unlikely to participate in the team's draft-week minicamp as he recovers from a foot injury, head coach Vic Fangio said Sunday, March 24.
Free-agent TE Clay Harbor (Saints) is attempting an NFL comeback and also appears to be open to changing his position to fullback. He has resumed training in the hopes of earning a workout with a team this offseason. Harbor plans to move on if he has not been signed by the time training camps open.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, intends to add muscle during the offseason and wants to play at 250 pounds in 2019. 'I'm getting it. I'm going to play bigger this year. I'm about 250. Yeah. A solid 250. It's just about hydration and being at the peak body, too,'' Winston said.
Fantasy Spin: It's unclear why Winston feels the need to put on weight, although fantasy owners will probably take it if it allows him to stay on the field and improve on his deep passing. The arrival of head coach Bruce Arians figures to be a boon to his career, and there is little question he has a capable supporting cast with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard as his primary targets. If he doesn't thrive this season, he'll likely have no one but himself to blame.
Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson called his 2018 season 'decent' and believes he is capable of more in 2019.
Fantasy Spin: Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards last year, but with Derrius Guice expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury, Peterson looks like more of a handcuff than a fantasy starter.
Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys SS George Iloka has agreed to a one-year deal, according to a source.
Free-agent SS George Iloka (Vikings) has agreed to sign with the Dallas Cowboys Saturday, March 23, according to a source.
Free-agent SS George Iloka (Vikings) talked to the Minnesota Vikings at the NFL Scouting Combine about a possible return, but it appears like he will sign with another team this offseason.
Free-agent CB Neiko Thorpe (Seahawks) re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, March 23. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Free-agent WR Malcolm Mitchell (Patriots) said he plans to retire from professional football.
The Detroit Lions signed free-agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin to a one-year, $3.5 million deal on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Melvin played for the Patriots in 2015 when head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator. The 29-year-old has been mostly a starter the last three seasons with the Colts and Raiders and had a career-high three interceptions with the Colts in 2017. He could be the replacement for Nevin Lawson, who signed with the Raiders earlier this week.
The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a one-year, $2 million deal on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 29-year-old will be with his fourth different team in the last four seasons and will serve as Derek Carr's backup in silver and black. Glennon has played in 27 games (22 starts) and is 6-16 as a starter in his five seasons in the NFL. He has 35 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions and an 84.0 quarterback rating. Glennon won't be fantasy relevant.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson could make as much as $40 million per year on his next contract, according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com.
Free-agent RB C.J. Anderson (Rams) said on his Twitter feed that his time with the Los Angeles Rams 'was fun' and that he enjoyed the opportunity.
Fantasy Spin: Anderson was speaking like a player who doesn't expect to be back with the Rams in 2019. However, he did show that he has a little gas left in the tank in the right offense, and depending on where he signs, he could have some appeal as a depth option for fantasy owners.
Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns will likely see fewer opportunities next season after the signing of WR Randall Cobb, in the opinion of Kate Hairopoulos of The Dallas Morning News.