49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 1, 2012
OLB-needy 49ers poised to acquire ex-Cardinal Haggans


The 49ers plan to address their shortage at outside linebacker by signing former Cardinals and Steelers defender Clark Haggans, according to a league source. The 12-year veteran, who was released on Friday, will sign with the team Sunday pending a physical.

The 49ers have acknowledged they gambled last season by having only three outside linebackers on the active roster. They addressed those numbers by taking two outside linebackers in the April draft. However, both of them, Darius Fleming and Cam Johnson, were injured during the offseason. Fleming is on the PUP list with an ACL tear; Johnson is on the practice squad.

Haggans, 35, started 16 games at left outside linebacker for the Cardinals last season, finishing with 30 tackles and three sacks. This year, O'Brien Schofield took over that role, and Haggans was one of 18 Cardinals released as the team got down to the 53-player limit.

Both of the 49ers starters at the position, Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith, were at practice Saturday. The top - and only -- backup, Parys Haralson, missed the session with an undisclosed injury. Asked today if Haralson would be ready for the 49ers' Week 1 game in Green Bay, Jim Harbaugh said, "We'll see."

The 49ers would have to release a player from the 53-man roster in order to make room for Haggans.

Haggans may face league discipline stemming from a DUI arrest in Arizona in 2011. According to a statement from Haggans' agent, Jeff Sperbeck, Haggans was rushing home from a concert to attend to his five-year-old daughter, who was having trouble breathing when he was stopped by police. Haggans pled guilty to "extreme DUI" and served jail time in June.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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