Robbie Gould Cut by Chicago Bears, Connor Barth Signed

The Chicago Bears and kicker Robbie Gould have parted ways, ending an era in Bears history.  Veteran kicker Connor Barth will succeed Gould.

All good things must come to an end.  For Robbie Gould and the Chicago Bears, that end appears to have come.

For a franchise with nearly a century of history, finishing as the Chicago Bears’ all-time leading

scorer is no small accomplishment.  For Robbie Gould, it’s over a decade-long accomplishment and a testament to one of the top kickers in league history.

Gould finishes his 11-year Bears career as the team’s leader in points with 1207 points, field goals made with 276.  He was the sixth-most accurate active kicker and ninth overall with a FG% of over 85%.  Since 2005, field goals for the Bears truly have been “Good as Gould!”

But with a shaky season in 2015 where he missed kicks that cost the Bears a couple of wins and a less than stellar preseason, Gould no longer justified being one of the top paid kickers in the league.  The move will save the Bears about $3M in cap space.  It’s not a total surprise that the Bears let him go, but the timing is odd.

The Bears didn’t have another kicker at camp, so you just assumed they were going to stick with Robbie.  Instead, the day before they start their Week 1 practices, they let Gould go.   The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs is reporting the Bears are set to replace Gould with former Chiefs/Bucs/Broncos/Bucs kicker Connor Barth:

Barth has been kicking around the league (pun intended) since 2008.  He’s spent five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and single seasons with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.  He was among the final cuts coming out of Saints camp.

In his seven seasons, Barth has connected on 139 of his 164 field goal attempts, good for a nearly 85% success rate.  He’s faced the Bears twice in his career, connecting on one of the two field goals he’s attemped while converting all four of his extra points.  Nevertheless, he’s never kicked at Soldier Field.  It will be interesting to see how he fares when the winds start swirling in about November.

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