With the shocking news that Will Smith was injured seriously and out for the 2013 campaign (shocking because he barely had a noticeable limp heading into the locker room), the Saints moved fast to finalize a deal with the 49ers and land outside linebacker Parys Haralson. Haralson should come in and pretty much immediately start for the Saints as they have no one left of his quality. From Flora, MS, Haralson played at Tennessee and was a 5th round pick by the 49ers in 2006. He had become a primary backup due to the emergence of Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. Haralson was a starter almost all of his career with the 49ers before missing 2012 due to a triceps tear in preseason.
This move was a must given the serious injuries sustained by Will Smith and Victor Butler, and the injuries that have kept Junior Galette and Martez Wilson out of preseason. Haralson is a guy that can rush the passer a little bit and play the run quite well. He's not good in coverage but nowhere near the disaster that Will Smith would be in that area. Haralson's best season came in 2008 when he had 8 sacks.
According to Pro Football Focus Haralson has a +5.0 performance grade through three preseason games, so he seems to have recovered from his injury. That's +2.2 in run support and +2.1 in pass rushing, so a nice balance, by the way. In 2011, his last full season, Haralson graded at +2.2 for the season, with a +4.0 in run support and a -0.3 in pass rush (-1.2 in coverage). He has graded pretty up and down over his career.
I think it was a move the Saints simply had to make given where they are at the moment at outside linebacker. He's definitely not an all world player, but he's a solid guy that can start and give you quality play. He's not going to implode. I liken this to the Scott Shanle trade of 2006 where the Saints got a solid veteran that could come in and know the system and give the team some stability.
The compensation was a 7th round conditional pick, the condition being that he make the 53 man roster on opening day. That will assuredly happen unless he fails a physical or gets injured Thursday. But a 7th round pick is a very low investment for a starter at a position you are desperate for help at.