Report: Chiefs DB Ron Parker Hints At Asking Price, Doesn’t Lack Confidence


You know when you go to a car dealership, and a Saul Goodman hack immediately beelines toward you like an Amazonian predator stalking unsuspecting prey, babbling about how ideal Vehicle X is for your personal needs, only to then casually toss a curveball of an asking price at you that’s so laughable that it gives you insecurities about how you present yourself? That’s Ron Parker. At least, it is if reports of his opening bid prove true.

The Kansas City Star‘s Terez Paylor writes:

"That said, based on the pending free-agent market, Parker — who would prefer to play safety, where his 2014 Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 2.8 ranks 29th among 87th players — is expected to initially ask for a four- or five-year deal seeking north of $6 million a year.That’s a little more than Mike Mitchell — who signed a five-year, $25 million deal with Pittsburgh after a breakout 2013 campaign with Carolina — received last March, and for comparisons sake, Parker finished with more tackles (84 to 50), pass deflections (12 to eight) and three fewer interceptions (four to one) than Mitchell did in 2013."

There’s only one in-house free agent whose talent resides in the $6 million-plus neighborhood: Rodney Hudson. If Parker’s agent tries to justify that kind of appraisal by rattling off statistics, he’s not going to have a leg to stand on.

For starters, when it comes to defensive backs, you can never take tackle totals at face value. If a DB is making 84 tackles, it’s probably a byproduct of allowing too many receptions. That, or he’s a run-stuffing monster, which is something Parker will never be mistaken for.

To give that some context, Ed Reed has only topped 70 tackles once in his 12-year career. Even Eric Berry, a run-stopping missile, has never exceeded 73.

In 2014, Parker’s single-game high of nine tackles stemmed from a game—Week 14 versus Arizona—in which he allowed six receptions (on eight targets) for 80 yards and touchdown. When aiming in Parker’s direction, Drew “Heave and Hope” Stanton tallied a 145.8 passer rating, falling 12.5 shy of a perfect score.

Ultimately, No. 38 finished the season with 22 missed tackles to his name (17 as a safety and five as a cornerback), totaling the second-most among NFL defensive backs. While Pro Football Focus ranked him 29th among safeties in coverage—for what it’s worth, Husain Abdullah tied for seventh, and Kurt Coleman was slotted at 25th—it also ranked Parker No. 82 of 87 against the run and 73rd overall.

If, for whatever reason, none of that moves the needle for you, then consider this: Berry himself is only scheduled to count $8.3 million (and change) against the cap next season. With that in mind, let’s compare his last healthy season (2013) to Parker’s 2014 campaign.

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Look, none of this is to say that the Kansas City Chiefs shouldn’t retain Parker. Personally, in terms of potential re-signings, I’d deem him the team’s third-highest priority. And if Berry doesn’t return to the field, his replacement’s value is sure to skyrocket.

However, you can easily make the case that Parker is, behind Berry and Abdullah, the Chiefs’ third-best safety. (If Sanders Commings ever sheds the voodoo hex cast upon him, he also has a higher ceiling.)

Furthermore, if Berry were to suit up in 2015, Parker, in all likelihood, wouldn’t even start.

While he’s technically listed as a strong safety, he played more single-high coverage than Abdullah last season because he totes faster closing speed. But if Berry, Commings or another name fills that role, and there’s a training camp battle between Parker and Abdullah—who, by comparison, will chew up just $1.145 million in 2015 cap space—my money will be on the latter of the two.

When Pittsburgh signed the aforementioned Mike Mitchell, he was 26 years old and had 76 games under his belt; Parker is 27 and has 42, notching just one start prior to 2014.

As of now, a 2015 cap hit of $6 million would serve as the 12th-highest among NFL safeties, ranking ahead of multiple Pro Bowlers (Kam Chancellor, Glover Quin, etc.)

If Parker’s agent walks into John Dorsey’s office asking for that kind of money, he’ll be U-turning before he sits.

Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Contract information provided by Spotrac.

Next: Offseason Potpourri, Vol. 1

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