Will Parks

Chiefs Cut Taco Charlton, Will Parks

The Chiefs have released defensive end Taco Charlton, defensive back Will Parks, and guard Bryan Witzmann, per a club announcement. They’ve also waived linebacker Riley Cole and quarterback Anthony Gordon, bringing them down to an 80-man roster in advance of tomorrow’s deadline. 

Despite entering the league as a seventh-round pick, Parks has seen considerable playing time as a pro. He spent most of his career with the Broncos before moving on to the Eagles in 2020. Injuries led to Parks’ release in December, bringing him back to the Broncos. Parks missed six games last year, but previous to that, he was only scratched for two. He’s been with the Chiefs since May — now, he’ll have to hook on elsewhere.

Charlton, a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. After just two-plus years with the Cowboys, he moved on to the Dolphins and did his best work in 2019 — five sacks in ten games. He had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs too, up until he broke his leg in November. He finished out with two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble for KC. However, the 26-year-old (27 in November) wasn’t able to make the cut.

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Chiefs To Sign S Will Parks

The Chiefs have agreed to sign safety Will Parks (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Parks, a free agent for the second straight year, also received interest from the Vikings and Lions.

Instead of the NFC North, he’ll join up with one of the AFC’s strongest teams. The five-year veteran agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.13MM, according to Schefter (on Twitter).

Despite entering the league as a seventh-round pick, Parks has seen considerable playing time as a pro. He spent most of his career with the Broncos before moving on to the Eagles in 2020. Injuries led to Parks’ release in December, bringing him back to the Broncos. Parks missed six games last year, but previous to that, he was only scratched for two.

Now on the verge of his 27th birthday (in July), the versatile vet figures to serve as a supporting safety in Kansas City — perhaps with some time as a sub-package linebacker. Parks played that role at points in Denver and will now attempt to carve out a spot with the Broncos’ top rivals.

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Lions To Host S Will Parks On Visit

A free agent for the second straight year, Will Parks has received interest from multiple NFC North teams. The Lions are hosting the veteran safety on a visit, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Vikings are believed to have submitted an offer to Parks recently, but he opted to keep looking for a fit. A former seventh-round pick, Parks has spent most of his career with the Broncos. Despite his draft status, the Arizona alum has received extensive playing time as a pro.

Denver used Parks as a regular rotational cog but let him defect to Philadelphia in free agency last year. A Philly native, Parks was unable to stick with the Eagles throughout last season. Injury issues intervened on his homecoming, and the Eagles waived him in December. The Broncos claimed Parks and reinstalled him as a rotational presence. The 26-year-old defender has displayed versatility, working also as a sub-package linebacker as a pro. Prior to last season, when he missed six games, the 2016 draftee had only missed two as a pro.

The Lions are in transition at a few positions. Safety may not be one of them, as the team has not addressed this position yet this offseason. Detroit dealt Quandre Diggs before the 2019 trade deadline and has used lower-profile players — whom the previous regime drafted — at the position. Duron Harmon‘s contract expired after the 2020 season, and Pro Football Focus assigned poor grades to Will Harris and Tracy Walker last season.

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North Notes: Clowney, Vaitai, Parks

Let’s round up a few notes from the North divisions:

  • For the second year in a row, Jadeveon Clowney is drawing interest from the Browns. Though Clowney’s recent visit to Cleveland did not result in a contract, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the Browns still want to sign him if the price is right (and assuming the team is comfortable with his health). Clowney ultimately settled for a one-year, $13MM pact from the Titans last year after originally seeking a multi-year contract with an AAV of $20MM, and any deal he signs this year will likely be for much less than last year’s $13MM salary. But new Browns acquisition Malik Jackson believes Cleveland has what it takes to win the Super Bowl in 2021, and he suggested that Clowney should jump at the chance to sign up with the Browns. “If you want to hop on board, come hop on board,” Jackson said. “I understand the free agency market is not what he probably wants, but things are bigger than monetary value. You get a chance to be on a good team and set yourself up in the future.”
  • When the Lions signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year, $50MM contract last offseason, most expected he would suit up at right tackle. He missed six games in 2020 due to injury, but he played five games at guard, four games at tackle, and he split time between the two positions in one other game. New head coach Dan Campbell says he currently plans to slot the TCU product at guard (via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website). “[W]e’re a little intrigued about moving him inside to guard.” Campbell said. “That does intrigue us. We may as a starting point work there and see where we’re at.” Campbell should have a solid group to protect QB Jared Goff, with Taylor Decker at LT, Jonah Jackson at LG, Frank Ragnow at C, Vaitai at RG, and a deep OL draft to add a quality rookie at RT.
  • Before the Vikings signed former Cowboys safety Xavier Woods as part of their overhaul in the secondary, they tried to land Will Parks, as Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Parks spent the first four years of his career in Denver before signing a one-year pact with the Eagles last offseason. He didn’t make it through the 2020 season with Philadelphia, as he was waived late in the season and was claimed by the Broncos (though the Vikings put in a claim as well). But according to Wolfson, Minnesota wanted to bring in Parks on a veteran minimum pact — which the club also tried with Woods — and Parks turned them down.

49ers, Vikings Tried To Claim Will Parks

The Broncos plucked former Eagles safety Will Parks off the waiver wire this week, but they weren’t the only club in the mix. The 49ers and Vikings also submitted claims for the veteran, according to Mike Kaye of NJ.com.

Both teams had their chance to snag Parks this past offseason. The Vikings were reportedly left at the altar, along with the Lions. Parks ultimately chose the Eagles, who offered him a chance to play a good deal of three-safety sets in front of a hometown crowd. The Vikings, meanwhile, saw Parks more as a special teams cog. Barring an injury to Anthony Harris or Harrison Smith, Parks would have been a longshot to see significant snaps.

The Niners apparently preferred Parks to their in-house options. With Parks headed back to Denver, SF promoted safety Kai Nacua from the practice squad and signed Chris Edwards to take his place on the reserve unit.

Ultimately, Parks found a good platform as he looks ahead to free agency. Given his familiarity with Vic Fangio’s system, Parks should have opportunities as a safety, slot man, and a coverage linebacker in sub-packages.

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Broncos Claim S Will Parks, Place CB Bryce Callahan On IR

Ahead of their most difficult assignment annually, the Broncos will be down their best-performing cornerback. The Broncos will travel to Kansas City and face at least their next three opponents without Bryce Callahan.

They are placing Callahan on IR, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic tweets. But the team will reunite with Will Parks. The four-year Bronco contributor will return to Denver via waiver claim, per KOA’s Benjamin Allbright (on Twitter). The Eagles waived Parks this week.

Callahan has run into more foot trouble. The standout defender injured the same foot that kept him out of action all last season, and Vic Fangio said a multi-week absence was on tap. Callahan exited Week 12 as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall cornerback, belatedly justifying the Broncos’ three-year, $21MM investment. He initially injured the foot in December 2018 while playing for Fangio in Chicago.

This is certainly cause for concern for the sixth-year cover man. And it deals a Broncos defense that has been without Von Miller and its entire D-line a major blow going into the team’s biannual Chiefs contest. The Broncos have not beaten the Chiefs since 2015.

Parks opted to play for his hometown Eagles this offseason, agreeing to a one-year deal. The Broncos originally drafted him in the 2016 seventh round, four rounds after their Justin Simmons pick. Given Parks’ familiarity with Fangio’s system, the Broncos should be able to plug him into myriad roles on defense. Parks previously served as a utility man of sorts in Denver, operating as a backup safety, in the slot and as a coverage linebacker in sub-packages. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Parks will not be eligible to play with the Broncos again until Week 14.

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Eagles Cut S Will Parks

In the wake of yet another disappointing defeat last night, the Eagles are making a change on defense. Philly is releasing safety Will Parks, a source told James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Parks was in his first year with the team after signing a one-year, $1.6MM deal back in March. He suffered a hamstring injury right before the season started that caused him to miss the first handful of games, but he returned in Week 6 and started the game. His playing time dipped a bit after that, although he still started three games and played in all six he was active. He played only ten defensive snaps against the Seahawks last night, and apparently that was the final straw.

The timing is a bit odd, as it’s not like Parks has been noticeably terrible, and it’s possible there’s something behind the scenes at play here. That being said they’ve apparently wanted him gone for a bit, as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets they tried to trade him at the deadline but found no takers.

The Vikings apparently offered Parks more money back in March, as Minnesota beat writer Darren Wolfson tweets. Wolfson also notes they had interest in trading for him at the deadline, so they’ll be a team to watch as Parks now hits waivers. A Philadelphia native, Parks took a discount to return home but it obviously didn’t work out.

A sixth-round pick of the Broncos in 2016, Parks became a real contributor in Denver and started seven games last year. He finished with 35 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, two passes defended, and an interception in 14 games in 2019. The Arizona product is only 26 and will likely get scooped up by somebody before the end of the year.

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Eagles Activate Vinny Curry, Will Parks

Some good injury-related news came out of Philadelphia on Saturday. This change of pace comes in the form of Vinny Curry and Will Parks being activated off injured reserve.

The Eagles placed Curry on IR after Week 1; Parks landed there prior to his new team’s season opener. The Philadelphia native will make his Eagles debut Sunday.

Curry and Parks were part of the brigade of NFLers who suffered hamstring injuries in September, which came after the league canceled its preseason slate because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will bring some reinforcements for an Eagles defense tasked with supporting an injury-ravaged offense.

The Eagles signed Parks in free agency. The four-year Broncos supporting-caster is on track to be a depth piece with the Eagles. Curry is in his second season back in Philly. The longtime defensive line contributor spent the 2018 season in Tampa Bay but returned after one season in south Florida.

While the Eagles will be down four offensive line starters in Week 6, they still have their array of talented defensive linemen ready to go. The team also promoted tight end Jason Croom and defensive back Elijah Riley ahead of its game against the Ravens.

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NFC East Notes: Haskins, Cowboys, Eagles

Dwayne Haskins‘ standing in the Washington organization has plummeted tremendously since the previous regime drafted him 15th overall last year. He is now the team’s third-string quarterback, with both Kyle Allen and Alex Smith leapfrogging him on the depth chart, and trade rumors have emerged. Haskins has clearly not impressed Washington’s coaching staff, and John Keim of ESPN.com notes last year’s staff took issue with the one-year Ohio State sensation as well. Both staffs have communicated concerns about Haskins’ work ethic to the quarterback. This concern surfaced early during Haskins’ rookie season, one that ended with the young passer ranking last in QBR by a considerable margin. Haskins has not made a trade request, and Washington has yet to field any trade calls on him, Keim adds. Although Ron Rivera has publicly backed Haskins, Keim notes both sides appear prepared to move on after one of the quicker auditions for a first-round quarterback in recent history.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Leighton Vander Esch is progressing closer to beating his recovery timetable. The Cowboys linebacker saw his first post-injury work in pads Friday, and NFL.com’s Jane Slater tweets the third-year defender could well be activated ahead of Monday’s game against the Cardinals. The Cowboys placed Vander Esch on IR after Week 1 because of a broken collarbone. Given a six- to eight-week timetable, Vander Esch returning Monday would mean a mere four-game absence. That would obviously be encouraging for a player who has seen injuries stall his promising career.
  • The Eagles‘ offensive line resides as one of the NFL’s most decimated position groups. Jason Peters, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo are on IR. The team declared Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson out for Week 6 with an ankle injury. While Johnson’s injury is not expected to require surgery, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter), he will rest it this week against the Ravens. Although Johnson not needing surgery represents good news, the Eagles are down to one original starter — center Jason Kelce — in their lineup against a top-tier Ravens defense.
  • One of the Eagles’ defensive depth pieces returned to practice this week. The Eagles opened Will Parks‘ 21-day activation window. The fifth-year safety has yet to debut for his hometown team. The Eagles placed Parks on IR before Week 1 because of a hamstring injury and have until 4pm CT Saturday to activate him for Week 6.
  • The Cowboys worked out defensive tackle Gabe Wright on Friday. Wright has not played in a regular-season game since the 2018 season. The former fourth-round pick has spent each of his four seasons with a different team — the Lions, Browns, Dolphins and Raiders. The team only has two defensive linemen on its practice squad.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Parks

The Giants are planning for Logan Ryan to help at cornerback and safety. Joe Judge confirmed Ryan will play multiple spots, and Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes the former Patriots and Titans cornerback is expected to work in a hybrid safety-slot corner capacity (subscription required). Ryan played just 22 snaps at safety — as opposed to 855 in the slot — last season, but late in his free agency stay he began to market himself as a safety. Ryan’s 113 tackles last year led all cornerbacks and would have ranked fifth among safeties. Giants DC Patrick Graham was with the Patriots during three of Ryan’s four New England seasons. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney was set to play this role, but the Alabama product suffered a broken foot. McKinney had surgery late last month and is expected to miss at least two months. But he may well return to team with Ryan later this season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Shifting to another team’s safety situation, the Cowboys did not view Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a starter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Instead of keeping the seventh-year veteran around as a backup, Dallas cut baitDarian Thompson is expected to start alongside Xavier Woods, but Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie, Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson could see time there if necessary. The Cowboys could recoup $1MM if Clinton-Dix signs elsewhere via the offset language in his contract, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Players like Josh McCown, Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan and Matt Moore accepted jobs on teams’ practice squads in recent days. But Jon Halapio did not want to play such a role. The veteran center declined a spot on the Giants‘ P-squad, Duggan tweets. The Giants brought Halapio back last week but cut him Saturday. Halapio, who worked out for the Texans last month, is healthy after suffering an Achilles tear in Week 17. Halapio began the past two seasons as the Giants’ first-string center; he started 15 games last season.
  • Aldon Smith collected a $100K bonus from the Cowboys, per Archer. That brings his total in 2020 roster bonuses to $440K. Smith, who has not played since the 2015 season, agreed to a $910K base salary that pays out just more than $40K in per-game roster bonuses. If Smith were to reach eight sacks, he would collect $500K, Archer adds. For 10 sacks, the former All-Pro would receive a $1MM bump. In the event of a less likely 14-sack season, that total rises to $2MM.
  • The Eagles placed Will Parks on IR on Sunday. The veteran safety suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out up to six weeks, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This year, teams can activate players off IR after just three missed games. Though, Parks’ timetable may run into October. The Eagles signed the former Bronco in March.