Nobody in Chicago Bears history has scored more points than placekicker Robbie Gould. Not Gale Sayers, George Blanda or even the indelible Walter Payton.
Gould surpassed Kevin Butler, a long-time Bears kicker and beloved member of the 1985 squad that won a Super Bowl championship, in 2015 for first on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. He’s also the franchise’s most accurate kicker, with his 85.4 percent mark also good for ninth in current NFL history.
However, the 34-year-old entered the 2016 season carrying a $4.1 million salary cap hit and the Bears made the decision on Sunday to release the veteran specialist.
The Bears will save roughly $3 million in salary cap space for cutting Gould while incurring $1.1 million in dead cap space for the season. The Penn State product will now pass through waivers and if no team claims him, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
Chicago will look to the open market for kicking help and, while it’s unlikely they find a replacement of Gould’s caliber, the options available to them will undoubtedly be much cheaper.
Despite his stunning consistency over 11 seasons and the fact that he’s hit on a remarkable 74.2 percent of his field goal attempts from over 50 yards, Gould made just one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team. That came in 2006, his second season with the Bears.