SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers added a seventh member to their 2017 free-agent class Thursday afternoon, announcing they have agreed to terms with kicker Robbie Gould on a two-year deal.
Gould will be asked to replace the rather large shoes left behind by beloved veteran Phil Dawson. Dawson signed with the Arizona Cardinals earlier Thursday, leaving the Niners with a vacancy that needed filling.
Terms: Two years, money not yet known
ESPN 150 ranking: Unranked
Grade -- C-plus: Gould is one of the most accurate kickers in league history and should be fine handling this role for the next couple of years. There are only a few kickers who would draw much attention as a free agent addition (or garner a higher-than-average grade), and at this stage of his career, Gould isn't one of them. Still, this is a fine signing that fills a need.
What it means: The 49ers have one less hole on their roster. Dawson was well-liked by teammates, fans and just about anyone who crossed his path, not only because he was an effective kicker, but because he was a relentless professional. But he's also 42 and wasn't even 100 percent sure he wanted to keep playing at the end of the season. As it turned out, Dawson decided to keep going, but he moved on to a team closer to contending in Arizona. With Gould, 35, the Niners get an experienced kicker in his own right. In 12 NFL seasons, Gould ranks seventh in league history in field goal percentage (85.9) and is 23-of-31 on 50-plus-yard attempts for his career. The Niners probably will need to seek a long-term answer at the position in the near future, but Gould is capable of holding things down for the time being.
What's the risk: Gould made all 12 of his field goal attempts (including the postseason) after signing with the New York Giants midway through last season, but he did miss three extra points. Before that, Gould's once uncanny accuracy slipped enough for the Chicago Bears to let him go after 11 successful seasons. Having a reliable kicker is an underrated asset, and anytime a kicker enters a new situation, it's fair to wonder how he will fare. Gould did well in transitioning to the Giants last year after spending so many years in the Windy City. If he can make a similar adjustment at Levi's Stadium, the risk is minimal.