Chiefs’ defensive back Ron Parker is one of the more intriguing free agents this offseason, and debate has been ongoing whether the team should re-sign him. He is coming off a career year, and reports have indicated he is seeking at least $6 million a year. With limited salary cap space available, should the Chiefs pay his asking price? Below are some points for debate:
Yes, pay him:
- Parker had a career year in 2014, playing in all 16 games with 84 tackles, 12 passes defensed, 1 interception and 1 sack. Perhaps even more importantly, he exhibited the versatility to play multiple positions in the secondary, and essentially saved the Chiefs on several occasions when Sean Smith was benched and Eric Berry dealt with health issues. And who can forget Parker seemingly coming out of nowhere and sacking the Rams’ Austin Davis back in October, forcing them into a field goal (which they missed) and changing the momentum of the game?
- Eric Berry may not be back in 2015, and Sanders Commings has not yet been able to get on the field, so bringing Parker back lends some consistency to the position and may help ensure the Chiefs passing defense remains one of the best in the NFL.
- This year’s NFL draft is viewed at being thin at safety, and the Chiefs lack salary cap space to chase after free agents. Perhaps they can negotiate Parker’s demands into signing bonuses that will reduce strain on the salary cap, especially as the Chiefs have other major needs to fill at WR and OL.
- Kurt Coleman and Chris Owens are both also free agents and although neither had standout seasons, if they sign elsewhere, the Chiefs will have little depth on the secondary. Signing Parker, who is better than Coleman and Owens, will reduce the potential loss of those players.
No, save the money:
- First and foremost, the Chiefs have little money to play with, even after cutting Donnie Avery and AJ Jenkins. The Chiefs arguably have larger needs on the offensive line and at wide receiver and they might want to target free agents (who will cost more than draft picks) at those positions. They also need to decide what to do with Justin Houston, who is due a huge paycheck and is much more important to the team than Parker.
- Parker is somewhat a drifter, having played on 4 different teams during the past 4 years. Even though he had a solid year in 2014, he is still somewhat unproven.
- The Chiefs have 11 draft picks and even with a thin draft at safety, could easily select a player who would come much cheaper than $6 million per year.
- The Chiefs have a lot of money invested in their defensive line and linebackers, and need to be selective with their secondary in order to stay under the salary cap. Too bad KC does not have Denver’s seemingly endless pocketbook.
What do you think Chiefs fans – should the Chiefs pay Parker? In my opinion, he is not worth $6 million, but I would like to see him in Red and Gold next season.
Happy Red Friday and go Chiefs!