CHICAGO — The Bears have informed Robbie Gould that he is being released after he missed two extra-point attempts in the team’s preseason finale at Cleveland, the veteran kicker told ESPN.com on Sunday.
Gould, 34, is the Bears’ all-time franchise leader in career points (1,207), field goals made (276) and career field goals of 50 yards or more (23).
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The longest-tenured player on the Bears’ roster, Gould is the ninth-most-accurate kicker in league history. He also owns the NFL’s third-best field goal percentage from 50 yards or longer.
With no other kickers listed on the Bears’ depth chart, it was uncertain how they would proceed at the position entering next Sunday’s opener at Houston.
Gould took to Twitter to thank the fans and organization.
— Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09) September 5, 2016
Gould, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots, was named All-Pro in 2006, helping the Bears on their march to Super Bowl XLI with a game-winning field goal in overtime in the NFC divisional playoffs against Seattle. Gould has 12 game-winning kicks over his 11-year career.
However, Gould suffered through a frustrating 2015 season. Although he connected on 33-of-39 field goals attempts (84.6 percent) in 2015, Gould hit a bumpy stretch late in the year when he went a combined 2-for-5 in gut-wrenching losses to San Francisco and Washington.
Determined to bounce back, Gould embarked on a new training and nutritional regimen in the offseason and reported to camp at a heavier weight after he gained muscle mass. But while Gould went 5-for-6 on field goals in the preseason, he failed to convert two PATs in the Bears’ preseason finale at Cleveland.
Gould was scheduled to earn a $3 million base salary in 2016, part of the lucrative four-year extension he signed in 2013. He already collected a $500,000 roster bonus on the first day of the league year.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.