BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould clarified on Thursday that he had no objection to Phil Emery withholding contract extensions from veteran players until after the 2013 season, and that he wants to continue kicking in Chicago following the expiration of his current deal.
“I didn’t disagree with anything Phil Emery said,” Gould told reporters. “He’s not going to give anyone a deal, there is no money. Until they can get to the number in 2014 to where they can keep a lot of guys, that’s what they are going to do. It’s not rocket science.
“I’m motivated. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I’m ready to play. I’d love to stay a Bear. That’s always been my goal and that’s why I asked to renegotiate two weeks ago. I’m not focused on it, but you know what, I’m playing for a deal. I’m playing to feed my family. At the end of the day, am I here for the team? Absolutely. The only way I know how to do anything related to my team is to go out and do my job.”
Gould reiterated that his preference is to finish his career with the Bears, the team he signed with during the 2005 season. Gould went on to become the most accurate kicker in franchise history and the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history. Gould connected on 21-of-25 field goals last season before suffering a season-ending injury that caused him to miss the final three games. Gould underwent offseason surgery but resumed kicking duties near the end of the Bears' offseason program.
“I want to be a Bear the rest of my life,” Gould said. “There are records that I want to break and there are championships that I want to win. Hopefully that’s in a Bears’ jersey. If it’s not, it’s not in my hands and I can’t worry about it. At the end of the day I’m here to win football games and I’m here to win championships and do my job. I’ve busted my butt to get here and I’m ready to go. “
Gould said on Wednesday night during an appearance on ESPN 1000’s “Training Camp Live” that if the Bears “were smart they would try to get their core group of players and re-sign them before the end of the year and try to make it work.” Gould added that he wasn’t worried about his individual contractual situation because he believed the players with expiring deals will be in a good position heading into free agency next season.
Gould's agent approached the Bears’ two weeks ago regarding a possible extension but was told the club was not in a position to extend deals due to limited salary cap space.
Gould is one of 43 players listed in the Bears’ media guide with an expiring contract following the 2013 campaign, a list that also includes Pro Bowl cornerback Tim Jennings.
Jennings had a career-year in 2012 when he intercepted an NFL best nine passes.
“That’s the ultimate goal (to get an extension),” Jennings said Thursday. “I came from not even projected to be a starter. ... It’s a process. That’s the ultimate goal, to try to get an extension and finish my career here as a Bear. But everything will fall into place. I’ve just got to take care of what I need to take care of.
“Most definitely, it motivates you. This is the kind of position in I’ve been in my whole career so it’s really nothing new. I have to go in an compete, continue to keep a job, and hopefully it pays off in the long run where I can have an extension and just kind of take it easy and not have as much pressure on myself. My whole eight years, that’s how it’s been. There’s really nothing new and nothing different for me at all.”
Jennings understands that unless the Bears are successful this season, the roster is likely to experience a significant turnover next offseason.
“I guess it’s just writing on the wall for a lot of guys -no extensions, we’ve got a new front office, new head coach, new coach staff,” Jennings said. “With them not trying to do any extension, it’s a lot of writing on the wall for a lot of guys and let’s see what the future brings and what they’ve got in plans. Hopefully, everything plays out for itself with guys here and we make the Super Bowl run and they’re going to have to start talking to a lot of guys -and hopefully keep the right guys in the right places for years to come. They’ve got their plan in place and we’ve got to see how it goes.”