Outside linebacker Parys Haralson’s last snap for the Saints most likely won’t be the one in which he tore a pectoral muscle during a January playoff game. That’s because New Orleans on Tuesday announced it had reached terms on a one-year deal that would bring Haralson back for 2014.
Terms were not immediately disclosed.
Haralson, who was a free agent, was a valuable contributor in 2013 after the Saints traded a late-round draft pick to San Francisco for him in the wake of a pair of season-ending knee injuries among New Orleans’ outside linebackers in the preseason.
He had 3.5 sacks in the regular season, fourth-most on the team, to go with 30 tackles.
In an interview at the Senior Bowl in January, Ryan Pace, the Saints’ director of player personnel, mentioned Haralson as one of the two acquisitions New Orleans was most proud of last year.
“Those are the moves that you really feel like you’ve done a lot of work on those guys, and then they come in and play well,” Pace said.
With about 2:10 left to go in the second quarter of the Saints’ wildcard win at Philadelphia, Eagles receiver Jason Avant caught a short pass around New Orleans’ 10, and Haralson tackled him along the sideline. The New Orleans linebacker propped himself up on his knees and clutched at the left side of his chest before lying down on his back to permit athletic trainers to attend to him.
The crowd at Lincoln Financial Field rained boos down on Haralson, suspecting that he flopped to slow Philadelphia down. They were wrong — as the Eagles scored a touchdown a couple of plays later, Haralson left the game and didn’t return.
Getting to New Orleans, Haralson was coming back from an injury that prematurely ended his 2012 campaign with the 49ers. He had torn a triceps tendon in his left arm in an exhibition but was healed by the time the Saints made a move for him.
Both Haralson and the Saints were interested in reuniting for 2014 as early as late February, sources had told The Advocate. It had been anticipated that Haralson would be healthy in time for offseason workout programs in the spring.
Haralson — a Flora, Miss. native who went to college at Tennessee — was a fifth-round draft pick for San Francisco in 2006. He is 30.