San Francisco Chronicle

Likable linebacker returned to 49ers after career ended

- By Eric Branch Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: ebranch@sfchronicl­ Twitter: @Eric_Branch

Former 49ers linebacker Parys Haralson, who spent the first seven seasons of his nineyear NFL career with the franchise, has died at 37.

Haralson, a fifth-round pick from Tennessee in 2006, was traded to the Saints before the 2013 season and spent his final two years in New Orleans. In a statement, the 49ers expressed their sadness over Haralson’s sudden passing. No cause of death was given.

“The 49ers are heartbroke­n and shocked by the news of

Parys’ tragic passing,” the statement read. “Parys was a beloved member of our organizati­on that lived life with an extraordin­ary amount of passion and joy, while leaving an indelible mark on everyone he came across. We extend our condolence­s to Parys’ family and loved ones.”

Haralson, who led the 49ers with a career-high eight sacks in 2008, returned to the 49ers after his playing career and spent two seasons (2016-2017) as their director of player engagement. In that role, Haralson assisted players with their transition into and out of the NFL.

Haralson, whose career included 88 starts, 380 tackles and 28 sacks, was a popular figure in the locker room. He was traded to the Saints in August 2013 about 30 minutes before a practice, and a host of teammates converged on his locker after they learned he’d been dealt. Amid the hugs and handshakes, running back Frank Gore smiled at Haralson and referenced the 49ers’ upcoming meeting with the Saints in the regular season.

“Go easy on me,” Gore said. Shortly before Haralson was traded, then-defensive coordinato­r Vic Fangio discussed Haralson’s team-first approach.

“He’s a great teammate, as we all know,” Fangio said. “Coaches like him. There isn’t anybody in the building that doesn’t like him because that’s just who he is as a person.”

 ??  ?? Parys Haralson, seen in 2012, started for three of his seasons with the 49ers.
Parys Haralson, seen in 2012, started for three of his seasons with the 49ers.

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