The team signed reserve LB Stevenson Sylvester Wednesday, and have hosted multiple draft prospects, seven of whom so far are linebackers.
Gooden, a sixth-year veteran, was originally drafted by the Ravens and played in Baltimore from 2008-10, before moving to the 49ers for the past two years. The likelihood of Gooden signing after the announcement of Sylvester's new contract is low, but it may be someone they keep in mind in the future.
While these moves don't necessarily suggest any kind of priority in free agency or the draft, it's clear they're currently looking hard at the position. Incumbents Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote are the likely starters for the team, but depth is shallow behind them. Second-year LB Sean Spence is coming off a major knee injury from the preseason in 2012, and it's still unclear how far along he is in rehabilitation.
It's possible, too, the Steelers do look into the draft. Kansas State's Arthur Brown and Georgia's Alec Ogletree are possible inside linebacker prospects the team may look at in the first round, where both players are expected to be drafted.