Parys Haralson, a former NFL linebacker who played for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, died Monday, the 49ers announced. He was 37 years old. Haralson also was the 49ers' director of player engagement for two years. The cause of death was not announced.
"The 49ers are heartbroken and shocked by the news of Parys' tragic passing," the 49ers said in a statement. "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 was selected by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Drafter after playing college football at the University of Tennesee. "The Tennessee Football family is mourning the sudden loss of VFL Parys Haralson," Tennessee Football wrote in a tweet. "Haralson was a two-time captain for the Vols and finished his career 5th in program history with 21 sacks."
In his rookie season with the 49ers. Haralson played in seven games and recorded four tackles. He saw more action in 2017, playing in all 16 games with 11 stars and posted 49 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He had one of his best seasons in 2008, notching 39 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a career-high eight sacks. In 2009, Haralson signed a four-year contract extension with the 49ers and helped the team reach the Super Bowl in 2012.
In August 2013, Haralson was traded to the New Orleans Saints where he would play two seasons. In 32 games with the Saints, Haralson tallied 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Following Haralson's retirement from the NFL, he earned an MBA from the University of Miami and also worked in the tech industry in Northern California.
"Playing his final two seasons of an eight-year NFL career with New Orleans, Haralson possessed an unforgettable smile, upbeat attitude and was deeply respected by teammates and the coaching staff alike for his combination of dependability, leadership, and professionalism," the Saints said in a statement. "The organization's thoughts and prayers go out to the Haralson family." In his NFL career, Jordan played in 118 games with 88 stars and 275 tackles, 28 tackles and five fumble recoveries.