The New Orleans Saints, with a desperate need at linebacker after knee injuries to two would-be starters, acquired linebacker Parys Haralson from the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday for an undisclosed 2014 draft pick.
The 49ers said in a statement that Haralson must pass a physical for the trade to be completed.
Saints linebackers Will Smith and Victor Butler are dealing with serious knee injuries. Smith will be sidelined for the season, he confirmed to ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder via text message. Butler is recovering from knee surgery that will sideline him most or all of the season.
Haralson acknowledged on Monday that he had been traded when he was leaving the 49ers' facility but wouldn't disclose his destination until it was officially announced by the team. Running back Frank Gore, however, revealed that the linebacker was headed to the Saints.
San Francisco faces New Orleans in Week 11 on Nov. 17 at the Superdome, and Gore told Haralson, "When we play y'all, be easy on me."
The NFC champion Niners have depth at linebacker, and Haralson was in a reserve role while beginning a comeback season after missing all of 2012's run with a torn left triceps.
"Parys has been a consummate professional throughout his seven years as a 49er," San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said in the statement. "His leadership, work ethic and dedication to our organization, and the Bay Area community, have provided a great example for our locker room. We would like to thank Parys for his many contributions on and off the field and wish him the very best."
Haralson, 29, was a 16-game starter on the 2011 defense that ranked No. 1 stopping the run.
A seven-year veteran, Haralson has 145 career tackles and 21.5 sacks in 86 games. He had been set to be the primary backup last season behind Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith before he was injured in the third preseason game.
During the offseason, Haralson restructured his contract in a move to save the team salary-cap space. A talented run defender, Haralson enters his contract season with the chance to get more exposure as a starter for the Saints.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder and The Associated Press was used in this report.