CHICAGO — The Bears are signing free-agent kicker Connor Barth to replace 11-year veteran Robbie Gould, whom the team released Sunday night, a league source confirmed.
Barth will sign a one-year deal with the Bears, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The 30-year-old Barth spent the preseason in New Orleans before being cut by the Saints over the weekend. In 12 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, Barth went 23-of-28 on field goal attempts. He kicked five games for the Denver Broncos in 2014, under then-head coach John Fox.
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The Bears’ plan to sign Barth was first reported by The Chicago Tribune.
Gould 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). He had been the longest-tenured player on the Bears’ roster.
The 34-year-old 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.
Sunday on Twitter, he thanked 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 goal 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. 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.