Would Robbie Gould Return To Bears? 'I Love Chicago'

(670 The Score) In the end, the Bears were a missed 43-yard field goal away from winning their wild-card game against the Eagles and reaching the divisional round of the playoffs.

The disappointment of that sudden ending is still fresh in Chicago after kicker Cody Parkey's season-ending miss. In the aftermath, Parkey has been the subject of major criticism in Chicago and left Bears fans wondering whether former kicker Robbie Gould would've converted in the clutch moment.

"We're talking about a hypothetical," Gould said. "I wasn't out there. I didn't get a chance to kick it. Obviously, I feel for Cody Parkey and what he went through on (that) Sunday. I have a lot of respect for him. I have a lot of respect for him, not only as a person but as a kicker. We'll never know. We'll never know."

The Bears released Gould, their all-time leading scorer, prior to the 2016 regular season. The team has since gone through four different kickers in regular-season games -- Connor Barth, Cairo Santos, Mike Nugent and Parkey.

Since his release from the Bears, Gould has hit 82 of 85 field goals for the Giants and 49ers. Signed to a four-year deal last March, Parkey hit 23 of 30 field goals this season, while also missing three extra-point attempts.

Does Gould hold resentment toward the Bears for his sudden release from the team?

"I'm not mad about it at all," Gould said. "At the end of the day, football's a business. Unfortunately as a player, you don't really get to say when your time's up at a place. More often than not, the organization is your employer, just like other businesses. They get to tell where, when, how, why and for what reason. 

"They made a decision to go in a different direction. I'm happy they got back to the winning ways this year. The big addition of Khalil Mack made that locker room a lot better from a leader coming in and changing the demeanor of the defense.

"I'm happy for them, because Khalil Mack's a heck of a player. They're back in the playoffs. They have a lot of attributes from this season I felt were like the 2005 season that we had where they're winning a lot of football games. They're young. They haven't really tasted the playoffs. And I think this experience is going to help them a lot for next year. I'm just happy to see they're doing well."

During the Bears' season-ending press conference Monday, general manager Ryan Pace -- who released Gould in 2016 -- and coach Matt Nagy spoke out against Parkey's appearance on the "Today Show" last Friday, with Nagy referring to it as a "me" move instead of a "we" move.

It was another sign that the Bears will part ways with Parkey this offseason. The Bears could pay out Parkey's remaining guaranteed money and sign a replacement on the open market. And none other than Gould is one of the kickers set to be available in free agency, though his incumbent team in the 49ers have ample cap space, which the Bears are lacking.

Would Gould, 36, be motivated to return to the Bears?

"I love Chicago," he said. "I live here. I still live here. Whether you go to the grocery store or you go to a restaurant, that's the question everyone is asking me. And I get it, right? I understand it. But Cody's their kicker right now. He's the guy on their roster. He's the guy I think can rebound and have a great season and do some big things for the Bears down the road. 

"Chicago will always be home. I love the Bears fans. I love the city. I'll always be a Bear, no matter what team I'm on or where I'm going or whatever happens. One day, I'll probably retire a Bear. 

"There's a lot that goes into it. Time will tell where it's going to be. My agent will always pick up the phone. He's dialed into that. We'll make that decision whenever that time comes."