A day later, the NFL world still mourns the passing of a tremendous teammate and mentor in Parys Haralson. On Monday, the former New Orleans and San Francisco linebacker's life expired at the age of 37 of unknown causes.
Haralson was a fun-loving, compassionate player during his nine-year career. In 2013, New Orleans traded for the former Tennessee Volunteer to help a defense riddled with injuries. At the time of the trade, edge rusher Aldon Smith shared about Haralson, “He was a good mentor, taught me a lot, and best of luck to him in New Orleans.”
Haralson continued to be a leader during his two seasons with the Saints. A tweet from Saints defensive end Cam Jordan noted his veteran presence and engaging personality. "Parys a true pro and a teammate, turned FRIEND… at 37! 37!! Charismatic, high energy, and wise on and off the field… the gems he dropped while being my teammates, and the advice he gave off the field I’ll always value. Damn… RIP PTown."
Former Saints defensive player Tyrunn Walker tweeted in response to Haralson's death, "R.I.P. to may big bro Parys Haralson, dude was a great mentor, I'm gonna truly miss you big homie...."
During Haralson's retirement, he earned an MBA at the University of Miami and rejoined the 49ers organization as the director of player engagement for three seasons.
The New Orleans Saints organization posted, "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 organization's thoughts and prayers go out to the Haralson family."
In a past interview with Saints reporter John DeShazier, Haralson told him why he re-signed with New Orleans.
"They make it easy. It's a great locker room. It's a great coaching staff. Like I said, I really enjoyed my time there. Last year I enjoyed it there a lot and they make it easy. When you go in a locker room full of guys that everybody has the same goal to win games and try to win that ultimate goal to win a championship. It makes it easy. When everybody is on the same page, it makes football fun, " Haralson said.
Parys Haralson's NFL stats in 118 career games were 88 starts and posted totals of 275 tackles, 28 sacks, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries, 63 quarterback hits, 48 tackles for loss.