Cardinals, 49ers and the OLB shuffle

The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals opened the 2006 through 2009 seasons against one another.

Their first 2012 matchup isn't until Week 8, but already these NFC West rivals are competing.

Arizona recently prevailed over San Francisco in a waiver claim for Jamaal Westerman, an outside linebacker released by the Miami Dolphins on the reduction to 53-man roster limits. Westerman, 27, gives the Cardinals a fourth outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense.

The 49ers are turning to the Cardinals' cut list for help at the position. Clark Haggans, released by Arizona at the 53-man deadline, plans to sign with the 49ers, Matt Barrows reports. Haggans, 35, will serve as the fourth outside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme.

Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Parys Haralson are the 49ers' other outside linebackers. Arizona has Acho, Schofield, Quentin Groves and Westerman.

Haggans' sack total fell to three last season as the Cardinals gave more playing time to the younger O'Brien Schofield. Schofield is now the starter opposite Sam Acho.

Haggans has one sack in eight career games against the 49ers. He has 46.5 career sacks, including a career-high nine with Pittsburgh in 2005. Haggans started all 16 games with Arizona in 2011.