49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 4, 2011
Niners showing interest in linebacker Tavares Gooden

The 49ers are showing strong interest in former Ravens linebacker Tavares Gooden, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed this evening. A deal is not in hand, although one could be struck as early as Monday. Aaron Wilson of Scout.com first reported the 49ers' interest.


Gooden (6-1, 242) caught the 49ers' eye when he was coming out in the 2008 draft. He was selected by Baltimore in the third round and has had 70 tackles in 26 games over the last three seasons, 13 of them coming on special teams.

Gooden started 12 games next to Ray Lewis at inside linebacker in 2009, the same year 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coached linebackers for the Ravens. Gooden finishing with 49 tackles and a pass defense that season. He was a backup at the position last year and the Ravens put him on waivers Saturday.

If he signs with the 49ers, Gooden would figure to be a backup behind starters Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. The team also signed Larry Grant this year, and Grant had a strong training camp and preseason. The team released inside linebacker Keaton Kristick Sunday to make room for quarterback Scott Tolzien on the 53-man roster. Adding Gooden, 26, also would require the 49ers to cut a player.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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