The Chicago Bears have parted ways with veteran kicker Robbie Gould.
Gould was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and has been the club's starting kicker every year since. At one point in his career, Gould was the second most accurate kicker in league history -- he currently ranks 9th.
Yet the last two years have been rough for Gould. In 2014 he finished with a career-low 75.0 field goal percentage and in 2015, he missed a number of clutch kicks, which used to be Gould's specialty, that cost the Bears two wins.
The Bears did not bring in any competition for Gould during training camp, where he was sketchy at best. In the preseason finale, he missed two extra point, one that he hooked, and the other that he barely got off the ground and was blocked.
Gould will be replaced by Connor Barth, a seven-year NFL veteran who has played for the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Broncos. He played under John Fox in Denver in 2014. Garth holds a career 84.8 FG percentage.
From the official press release:
Gould appeared in 166 games over 11 seasons (2005-15) in Chicago, setting numerous NFL and franchise records. He ranks as the most accurate kicker in Chicago Bears history and ninth most accurate in NFL history, converting 276-of-323 (85.4%) career field goals. Gould owns club records in career points (1,207), field goals made (276), field goals made of 50 yards or more (23), field goals made in a season (33 in 2015) and longest field goal made (58-yards in 2013). He occupies the top seven highest single-season field goal percentages in Bears history, including franchise best mark of 89.7 percent (26-of-29) achieved in both the 2008 and 2013 seasons. Gould also owns five of the top seven single-season point totals in Bears history (2nd, 143 points in 2006; 4th, 127 in 2015; 5th, 126 points in 2007; 6th, 123 points in 2013 and 7th, 121 points in 2011). Gould holds franchise records with 10 seasons of 20+ FGs (2005-13 and '15) and seven seasons of 25+ FGs (2006-08, ‘10-11, ‘13 and '15). The Penn State alum owns the third best field goal percentage from 50 yards or longer in NFL History (minimum 10 attempts) at 74.2 percent (23-of-31). He also holds a franchise record with 22 consecutive games with a field goal (10/23/05-11/6/06). In 2015, Gould hit team-record seven field goals of 50-plus yards (7-for-9). In 2006, he became the first placekicker in Bears history to be selected to the Pro Bowl after leading all kickers with 143 points during the 2006 season (one point shy of the franchise record).