The San Francisco 49ers announced today that the team has signed linebacker Tavares Gooden to a one-year contract.
Gooden was valuable on special teams for the 49ers in 2011. According to Eric Branch, Gooden becomes the only backup inside linebacker under contract.
Here is the team's press release:
The San Francisco 49ers announced they have signed LB Tavares Gooden a one-year contract.
"Tavares was an integral part of our success on special teams last year," said 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke. "He brought an energy to our locker room that was evident on the field as well. We are pleased to have him back with us for another season, and look forward to his continued growth as a player."
A valuable contributor on special teams, Gooden (6-1, 242) played in all 16 regular season games and both postseason contests for the 49ers last season and registered 12 special teams tackles.
Gooden was originally drafted in the third round (71st overall) by the Baltimore Ravens of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has played in 41 career games (12 starts), logging 67 tackles on defense and 34 tackles on special teams. In 2010, Gooden appeared in 10 games and recorded 14 tackles for the Ravens. He started all 12 games in which he appeared in 2009, and posted 52 tackles. Gooden appeared in four games as a rookie on special teams before being place on the Injured Reserve List with a hip injury, in 2008.
The 26-year old native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, starred collegiately at Miami, where he tallied 216 tackles, one sack, 11 tackles for a loss, eight hurries and one interception, in 49 games (25 starts).
Gooden's position coach in Baltimore from 2008-09 was 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who served under John Harbaugh, brother of 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, at the time.