49ers re-sign LB Gooden to 1-year deal

March 13, 2012, 8:18 pm
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The 49ers re-signed backup inside linebacker Tavares Gooden to a one-year contract, the club announced Tuesday.Gooden, a four-year veteran, was scheduled for unrestricted free agency. He played all 16 games for the 49ers last season, and was a key contributor on special teams."Tavares was an integral part of our success on special teams last year," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "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."
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Gooden could become the team's top backup at inside linebacker this season behind Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.RELATED: Mindi Bach -- Migraine sufferer Gooden must dim the lights
The 49ers might not know for several weeks whether backup Larry Grant will return to the club. Other teams have until April 20 to sign Grant to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent. If Grant signs an offer sheet and the 49ers do not match, the 49ers would receive a seventh-round draft pick as compensation.Gooden was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 3, and the 49ers signed him to a one-year contract two days later. He ranked third on the 49ers last season with 12 tackles on special teams.