****UPDATE***** The compensation for Haralson is a conditional seventh-round pick. If he makes the Saints roster, New Orleans will send their 2014 seventh-round pick to San Francisco.
Dealing with an abundance of outside linebackers this year, the 49ers traded the most veteran of the bunch, Parys Haralson, to the New Orleans Saints on Monday. News of the trade broke when Haralson began saying goodbyes in the team's locker room shortly before practice. Running back Frank Gore approached Haralson and said, "Go easy on me." The Saints and 49ers will meet Nov. 17 in New Orleans.
A year ago, the 49ers had a shortage at the position, especially after their only backup, Clark Haggans, went down with a shoulder injury. This year, there are several young players behind starters Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. One of them, third-round pick Corey Lemonier, has looked particularly good this preseason, and the 49ers likely want to get Lemonier on the field as much as possible this year.
Two other backups are Dan Skuta, who also plays special teams, and 2012 draft pick Cam Johnson, who was hurt for most of the 2012 season. Johnson left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury; it's not known how severe.
Haralson, a seven-year veteran, began the season with a relatively high salary-cap figure. But he wanted to remain with the team and agreed to cut that salary almost in half. His base pay went from $2.57 million to $1.3 million.
Haralson, 29, was a starter for the 49ers from 2007-2011. Two years ago, he started games opposite Brooks at outside linebacker. He went to the sideline on passing downs, which enabled Aldon Smith to go in. During last year's preseason, he tore his triceps tendon and was lost for the season. He has fully recovered from that injury and was enjoying a strong preseason. Haralson is entering the final year of his deal.
The Saints lost one of their starting outside linebackers, Will Smith, to an ACL tear earlier this week. Haralson is expected to have a starting role in New Orleans.
With Haralson on his way to a new city, the 49ers will have to release only nine more players by Tuesday at 1 p.m. to get under the 75-man limit. They released five others, including Scott Tolzien, today.
-- Matt Barrows