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The San Francisco 49ers began their season with a hard-fought win on the road. However, it didn’t take long for the organization to experience a setback that had far-reaching consequences.
The 49ers delivered some sad news to their supporters a day after beating the Detroit Lions by a final score of 41-33. Parys Haralson, a hard-hitting linebacker who played for the team from 2006 to 2012, died Monday at the age of 37, according to ESPN.
There was no mention of a cause of death.
“The news of Parys’ sad death has left the 49ers devastated and shocked,” the team said in a statement. “Parys was a valued member of our organization who lived life with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and pleasure while leaving an unforgettable impact on everyone he met.” We send our heartfelt condolences to Parys’ family and friends.”
With the untimely death of former LB Parys Haralson, the 49ers have suffered a terrible loss. | Getty Images/Ezra Shaw
Haralson, who was born in Mississippi, rose through the ranks of Madison Central High School to become a force for the University of Tennessee Volunteers. He earned second-team All-SEC accolades as a senior after piling up 8.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles after breaking out as a junior. Haralson was chosen with the 140th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers, and it didn’t take him long to establish himself as a long-term staple in San Francisco.
The fifth-round pick switched to outside linebacker and immediately established himself as a valuable member of a strong defense. Despite never becoming a star, Haralson has 21.5 sacks, 47 quarterback hits, and 38 tackles for loss in 68 games with the 49ers from 2007 to 2011. Before retiring from the NFL, he spent two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In 2008, he had his most productive season, with a career-high eight sacks.
Haralson, like many other former players, did not stay away from the game for long.
The popular linebacker has returned to the 49ers as the director of player engagement. Before Austin Moss II took over, he worked in that position from 2016 to 2018.
The death of Trust Member, former @49ers | @Saints DE, and former @49ers Director of Player Engagement Parys Haralson brings us great sadness.
During this sad moment, our thoughts are with his family, loved ones, and teammates. pic.twitter.com/yrIwX8euLn
September 14, 2021 — The Trust (@playerstrust)
For many members of the NFL world, Haralson’s untimely demise came as a shock. After all, his enthusiasm, tenacity, longevity, and on-field performance won him great admiration. He met a lot of notable players and coaches throughout his almost ten years in the NFL as an edge rusher and a few years as a front office executive.
Many of Haralson’s old teammates and those who knew him well rushed to social media to pay tribute to the late linebacker, which came as no surprise.
“R.I.P. to Parys Haralson nicknamed P-Town, a former teammate and friend of mine. Donte Whitner, a former NFL safety who played for the 49ers from 2011 to 2013, tweeted, “Praying for his family.”
During his seven years in San Francisco, veteran NFL guard Adam Snyder came to know Haralson well. In light of his former teammate’s untimely death, the 39-year-old seized the opportunity to laud his former teammate’s praises.
“For many years, Parys Haralson was one of the best guys in the locker room. He put a grin on everyone’s face. We went through some difficult times together, and he was always a person I looked forward to seeing. This is infuriating. Snyder tweeted, “I already miss you P Town.”
In New Orleans, Tyrunn Walker met up with Haralson. The Louisiana native also sent a poignant statement on his former teammate’s death.
“My older brother Parys Haralson, R.I.P. Dude was a fantastic teacher. I’m going to miss you, huge house…” Walker sent out a tweet.
In addition, Haralson was recognized by the Volunteers football program with a post that emphasized his position as the school’s fifth-leading sack artist.
VFL Parys Haralson, a member of the Tennessee Football family, passed away unexpectedly.
Haralson was a two-time captain for the Vols and ended his career with 21 sacks, which ranks him fifth all-time in program history. pic.twitter.com/ETpG6tE1zI
September 14, 2021 — Tennessee Football (@Vol Football)
From 1995 through 2008, John “The Chief” Chavis was the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Volunteers. Over the years, he had the opportunity to work with a lot of future NFL players, but it’s clear that Haralson made an indelible impact on the well-traveled 64-year-old coach.
“I was heartbroken to learn about Parys Haralson’s death. I was fortunate to work with so many young guys in the coaching field. When I think about Parys, the first thing that comes to me is what a wonderful young guy he was. Chavis tweeted, “Very skilled and a lot of pleasure to be around.” “My heartfelt condolences to his family and the countless others whose lives he touched. “He will be much missed.”
Pro Football Reference and Sports Reference provided all statistics.
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The San Francisco 49ers suffer a tragic loss with the unexpected death of their beloved former linebacker. Reference: 2012 49ers coaching staff.
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