For the first time in forever, field goals at Soldier Field will no longer be as good as Gould. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and then confirmed by the team, the Bears cut kicker Robbie Gould on Sunday night. In doing so, the Bears freed up $3 million in cap space. They also just parted ways with their all-time leader in points scored and their longest-tenured player — a distinction quarterback Jay Cutler now owns. In Gould’s career, which began with the Bears in 2005, he appeared in 166 games, connecting on 85.4 percent of his field goals and 99 percent of his extra points. His 1,207 points scored top the Bears’ all-time leaderboard. Until Sunday, he was the only surviving member of the 2006 Lovie Smith-coached team that journeyed to the Super Bowl. He was — is — one of the greatest kickers of all-time, ranking ninth in career field-goal percentage.For more than a decade, Gould drilled big-time kicks and served as a leader within the locker room. In December 2014, when the season under Marc Trestman nosedived deep into the depths of Lake Michigan and Trestman responded by benching Cutler for Jimmy Clausen, it was Gould who publicly defended Cutler. Before the Bears even fired Trestman, it was Gould who accused his coach of scapegoating his quarterback. Also. the Bears got through final cuts Saturday and then got busy making their roster better for 2016 and beyond.
Jay Cutler should have a smile on his face when the team practices Monday in preparation for Sunday’s opener against the Texans in Houston as the Bears signed three-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton to a three-year contract worth roughly $21 million, according to sources.The Bears moved quickly to sign Sitton, bringing him to Halas Hall for a visit on Sunday after he was a surprise final cut of the rival Packers on Saturday. With the Bears expected to announce a four-year extension for right guard Kyle Long any day, that’s some stalwart protection for the quarterback even though the Bears will have to scramble to set a new line this week.Sitton, 30, has intimate knowledge of the NFC North, especially the Packers, and it makes sense for him to take over at left guard immediately. The Bears could then choose between veteran Ted Larsen, who has been better at center than guard, and second-round draft pick Cody Whitehair at center. Whitehair has been working at left guard in the preseason, but he took 10 snaps at center in the first exhibition game and there was some thinking in the building after he was drafted that Whitehair’s future would be brightest at center
Former Bear Devin Hester will be given another chance to be ridiculous. The NFL’s greatest return man of all time is reportedly signing a contract with the Ravens.Hester, 33, owns the NFL record for return touchdowns (20) and punt-return touchdowns (14). He spent the first eight years of his career with the Bears, before signing with the Falcons for the 2014 season. Due to a toe injury, he appeared in just five games last year. The Falcons then released him following the season.As a receiver, Hester’s caught 255 passes for 3,311 yards and 16 touchdowns. At one point in his career, he even served as Jay Cutler‘s No. 1 receiver, at least in terms of the depth chart.