October 9, 2011; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (96) during warm-ups before the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Former Patriots DE Jermaine Cunningham signs with the 49ers

The New England Patriots once had high hopes for former Florida Gators defensive end Jermaine Cunningham. The Patriots selected Cunningham with their second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2010 NFL draft.

Cunningham had a good start to his career, starting 11 of 16 games and recording 27 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack in his rookie season. In his second season, Cunningham struggled, recording just one tackle despite playing for one of the worst defenses in the league. Then, in 2012, Cunningham bounced back, starting three of 12 games. He had 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, his most productive season to date. However, late in the season, Cunningham was suspended for violating the NFL performance enhancing substances policy.

Just before the season, the Patriots released Cunningham as part of their final round of cuts.

On Tuesday, Cunningham found a new job, signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

To help make room for the signing, the 49ers cut quarterback B.J. Daniels and fullback Owen Marecic.

Daniels, the 49ers’ seventh round pick showed flashes at both South Florida and in the preseason, but has been plagued by inconsistency. Marecic, a third-year player out of Stanford, was signed when defensive lineman Ian Williams was placed on injured reserve.

Tags: Jermaine Cunningham San Francisco 49ers