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49ers sign linebacker Tavares Gooden

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers have signed linebacker Tavares Gooden to a one-year deal, giving the team a reliable defender against tight ends.

To make room on the roster, the Niners released linebacker Antwan Applewhite on Tuesday ahead of their season opener Sunday against the defending NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks.

The 6-foot-1, 242-pound Gooden has played in 26 games with 12 starts in three seasons with Baltimore, recording 66 tackles on defense and 22 tackles on special teams.

He was a third-round draft pick by the Ravens in 2008 out of Miami. Gooden played in 10 games last season.

Gooden's position coach in Baltimore from 2008-09 was 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who served under John Harbaugh, brother of new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.