Robbie Gould, right

Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

Emma: Can Bears, Gould Make Reunion Reality?

Gould has reportedly requested a trade from the 49ers.

Chris Emma
April 23, 2019 - 5:10 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Ryan Pace has never shied away from being bold during his time as Bears general manager, and the reigning NFL Executive of the Year deserves confidence with each aggressive move.

The Bears moved up for a raw 22-year-old kid whom Pace envisioned as a franchise quarterback, hired the unproven offensive coordinator whom Pace envisioned as a winning head coach, made the blockbuster deal for a superstar whom Pace saw as a cornerstone, and it all was part of Pace's plan to bring Chicago a championship contender.

But all the skepticism Pace encountered in September of 2016 when he released kicker Robbie Gould, the Bears' all-time leading scorer, turned into the team's worst fear imaginable. Pace has not been able to properly replace Gould and a missed field goal might've cost Chicago a Super Bowl last season.

Pace had walked away from his pre-draft press conference on Tuesday afternoon just moments before ESPN reported that Gould had requested a trade from the 49ers. Perhaps he was already well versed in the desire of Gould, 36, to be moved closer to his family -- in Chicago.

Related: 2019 NFL Draft Tracker

Gould has missed only three field goals (82-of-85) since being unceremoniously released by the Bears. Meanwhile, his former organization has played four kickers since. Gould was in the stands at Soldier Field as Cody Parkey missed the potential game-winning 43-yard field goal in the wild-card round, with the Bears losing 16-15 to the Eagles.

Yes, it all sets up perfectly. Pace can right one of his greatest wrongs, the Bears can land their best kicker since Gould's release, and Gould himself can finish out his NFL career a short commute away from his family. If only it were so simple.

Pace and the Bears would certainly be wise to make their best efforts at acquiring Gould by trade. So long as 49ers general manager John Lynch and his brass are willing to be reasonable, a deal can be reached. San Francisco has little leverage given the position of kicker is seemingly only a need for the Bears.

Would Gould be willing to take a hometown discount with the Bears? Considering he hasn't signed a franchise tag tender that would make him the highest-paid kicker in football -- instead hoping for a trade closer to Chicago -- perhaps there is no place like home for Gould, even if it means making around league average for a veteran kicker.

The Bears have $17,622,024 in effective cap space which ranks them 16th in the league, according to Over The Cap. The greater cap conundrum would come in 2020 and beyond as the Bears attempt to secure players in second contracts while already positioned with little cap room before signing Gould. It could mean parting ways with current veterans like Kyle Long or Danny Trevathan after this season.

But it would mark the latest bold move by Pace to ensure the Bears' championship window, addressing their greatest need on the roster. 

This reunion would be good as Gould for everyone.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​