Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould, the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 1,207 points, announced his retirement Thursday after 18 NFL seasons.
Gould spent his first 11 pro seasons with the Bears from 2005-15, making 85.4% of his field-goal attempts (276 of 323) and 99.0% of his extra-point tries (379 of 383). He holds team records for consecutive extra points (275), field goals made (276), field goals made in a season (33 in 2015), longest field goal (58 yards), field goals of at least 50 yards (23), field goals of at least 50 yards in a season (7 in 2015) and consecutive games with a field goal (22).
Gould concluded his career by playing one season with the Giants (2016) and six with the 49ers (2017-22). He retires as the ninth most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history, having made 85.5% of his attempts in 266 games. With 1,961 points, he ranks 10th on the league's all-time scoring list. His 447 made field goals are the eighth most in NFL history and the most by a kicker who played in fewer than 297 games.
Gould, who turned 41 on Wednesday, announced his retirement on Instagram.
"To have the kind of playing-career experience that I had in the NFL was nothing short of amazing," he wrote, "and my level of gratitude for the journey—the ups, the downs, the in between—is immeasurable. In short, my NFL story is hard to believe, and it's filled with a plethora of 'pinch-me' moments."
Gould never missed a kick in 16 postseason games, hitting all 29 all field goals and 39 extra points. That includes a 49-yard field goal in overtime that lifted the Bears to a 27-24 win over the Seahawks in an NFC Divisional Playoff game Jan. 14, 2007, at Soldier Field. He made 11 other game-winning kicks for the Bears, including five in overtime.
In 2006, Gould became the first Bears kicker to be selected to the Pro Bowl after leading all kickers with 143 points, one point shy of Kevin Butler's team record set in 1985.
Gould entered the NFL in 2005 as an undrafted rookie with the Patriots. After being released by New England and spending a few weeks with the Ravens, he was signed by the Bears in Week 5. At the time, he was working for a friend's construction company in Pennsylvania.
"He's just one of those great NFL success stories," said former Bears long-snapper Patrick Mannelly, Gould's teammate during the kicker's first nine seasons in Chicago. "To me, obviously he had the talent, but Robbie was one of the hardest working teammates I've ever been around all the years I was with the Bears. And I think him cultivating that talent with his hard work turned it into an 18-year career that's potentially a Hall of Fame career."
Bears special teams coordinator Richard Hightower worked with Gould while serving in the same capacity with the 49ers from 2017-21.
"I just wanted to congratulate him on a long, successful career," Hightower said. "Great competitor. Clutch in big moments when we needed him to be. Consistent. He has done an outstanding job. Wishing him the best in the next phase of his life. And I know if he attacks that the way he attacked his career, he's going to be super successful at that as well."
In his retirement message, Gould thanked those he interacted with throughout his career.
"Whether you were an owner, a general manager, a coach, a teammate, a member of the support staff, a massage therapist, a fan, or the family of my own, each and every one of you has impacted me in some way throughout my career," he wrote. "From the bottom of my heart, I am forever grateful and appreciative for every bit of support you have given me. You were my motivation to go the extra mile to win each and every week. And we can all agree that the week is always a little better after any kind of win in life, right?"
Gould is excited about now being able to spend more time with his wife and their three sons.
"My favorite team has been waiting for me at home to join them full-time—no contract needed," he wrote. "I'm excited to be more present with my family and to focus all of my attention on what matters to me outside of football. For the longest time, my career has naturally filled my schedule, and my wife has taken the reins at home. My oldest is 10 years old, and I've been away from him for large chunks of nine years. My younger two boys are eight and five. For most of their lives, Dad hasn't been fully present. So, without interruption, I'm ready for this next stage of life."