Former 49ers defensive player Parys Haralson, who spent his first seven NFL seasons with the franchise, died on Monday. He was 37.
Haralson was a popular player in the locker room and with the fan base during his time with the 49ers. He was known for having close friendships with his teammates and lending support to those who needed it.
"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 came to the organization in 2006 as a fifth-round draft pick from Tennessee. He made his home in San Jose following his playing career.
“Honestly, he was a salt-of-the-earth dude,” said agent Sean Kiernan, who represented Haralson. “He probably had the first dollar he ever made in the league. He was famously cheap as hell, but in a good way."
Kiernan was not Haralson’s first NFL agent. The biggest complaint Haralson had about his first agent was that he never went to games, Kiernan said, so he made a point of attending at least one of Haralson’s games every year and spend the next day together.
“Whether you’d been with him a week ago or it had been two months since you last talked to him, you always felt like you talked to him every day," Kiernan said.
Haralson, who was an edge rusher in the 49ers’ 3-4 defensive scheme, had his best season in 2008 when he registered eight sacks.
In his nine-year NFL career, Haralson had 28 sacks and 190 tackles in 118 games with 88 career starts.
The 49ers traded him to the New Orleans Saints just prior to the 2013 season. He played his final two seasons with the Saints.
Haralson returned to the 49ers organization and spent two years (2016-17) as the director of player engagement.
His role was to develop programs designed to assist players in making a smooth transition in and out of professional football as well as life skills development.
The cause of Haralson's death was not immediately known.