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Robbie Gould, Family Thank Chicago: 'Best Years Of Our Lives'

(CBS) Five days after his surprising release from the Bears, the only franchise he's ever known, kicker Robbie Gould on Friday penned a thank-you letter to Chicago, calling himself "incredibly fortunate" and saying his family had "some of the best years of our lives."

The 34-year-old Gould was released Sunday night after playing in Chicago for his entire 11-year career. He's one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, as his field goal percentage of 85.4 ranks ninth in NFL history. His 1,207 points are first in Bears franchise history. Chicago signed Connor Barth to replace Gould.

Here's Gould's thank-you note in full, posted to

As my time as a Chicago Bear has come to an end, I wanted to take a moment to write a letter to sincerely thank the entire city for the past eleven years of my career.

I arrived in Chicago in 2005, feeling both lucky and excited for the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream of playing for a first-class NFL organization. I cannot thank The McCaskey Family enough for making the start of my dream come true.

I know I have not been perfect, so I thank you for supporting me during the ups and downs of my career. Thank you for cheering for us when we won, and thank you for your words of encouragement when we didn't. I have the most amazing job in the entire world, and you have made it easy for me to love every single minute of my time here.

It is my hope that the Chicago Bears bring home a Super Bowl win this year; each and every one of my teammates throughout my career has worked laboriously to bring home a Lombardi Trophy for you. For that reason, this town deserves it.

On a personal level, I have been incredibly fortunate during my journey here, from marrying my wife, to the birth of my two sons. Each and every day is a blessing here for us. Chicago will always be home.

Thank you, from the bottom of my family's heart, for the laughs, the tears, the experiences, and the memories. It has undoubtedly been some of the best years of our lives.

Once a Bear, always a Bear.

Robbie, Lauren, Griffin, and Gavin

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