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Robbie Gould's future with 49ers in limbo as deadline nears

Cam Inman, The Mercury News on

Published in Football

STATELINE, Nev. -- Robbie Gould was noncommittal Wednesday on whether he'll be signed and kicking for 49ers by their Sept. 8 opener, much less at training camp in two weeks.

"I'm not going to commit to making any decision right now," said Gould, who'll be competing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament this week at Edgewood Tahoe.

Gould's kicking career remains in limbo after skipping the 49ers offseason program, and he harbors no urgency to sign a franchise-tagged tender of $5 million for this coming season.

"I don't really have a plan right now," Gould said. "Obvious there is a deadline and I don't have to make any decisions anytime soon. ... The deadline to sign a long-term contract is Monday, and the rest of that (potential holdout) is up to me."

He has options, as supported by the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players union. He could skip training camp, which opens July 26, and wait to report until Week 1 to start earning his $5 million contract. Or, he could wait until Week 10 to report and earn a prorated salary. Or he could sit out the entire season, as the Le'Veon Bell did last year to spurn the Pittsburgh Steelers' franchise tag.

Then again, perhaps Gould's agent, Brian Mackler, lands him a multi-year contract as talks continue.

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The 49ers brass said in April that Gould would not be traded, and coach Kyle Shanahan sympathized with Gould's desire to spend the offseason at his Chicago home with his wife and their three young sons.

"We love having him around. But, I understand how he feels and what's going on," Shanahan said June 11. "If (reporting Week 1) is the way he would like to do it, no problem with that at all. We'd always rather it be perfect the way we want it, but if he doesn't want to show up until Week 1, it is what it is.

"... Robbie's a hell of a kicker and nothing's really changed on that. I just really hope he shows up by the time we play Week 1."

Monday indeed marks the league's deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year contracts, something Gould's camp has pursued for over a year. Gould requested a trade three months ago and indicated at the time he wouldn't sign a long-term deal.

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