The Chiefs’ rebuild is on in full force, apparently, as the club is expected to part ways with safety Ron Parker this offseason, sources told The Star on Monday.
The move is expected to create approximately $4.9 million in salary cap space in 2018 for the cash-strapped Chiefs, who are expected to have approximately $19 million in cap space when Parker is released and the trades of quarterback Alex Smith and cornerback Marcus Peters are made official next month.
The Chiefs will create an additional $6.6 million in cap space if outside linebacker Tamba Hali retires or is released.
Parker, 30, has been a steady constant in the Chiefs’ secondary since 2013, when he was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Since becoming a starter in 2014, he has recorded 40 pass defenses and seven interceptions and averaged 75 tackles per season.
Among free-agent safeties, he’s fourth in tackles, first in passes defensed and tied for the second in interceptions over the last four seasons, and he’s also started more games than any other free-agent safety over that timeframe.
Parker also grew into a respected locker room presence and team spokesman during his five-year stint with the Chiefs and his release creates a void at free safety. With safety Eric Berry out because of a season-ending Achilles injury, Parker recorded 67 tackles, four passes defensed and two interceptions as he guided a secondary predominately populated by young players at his position, like Daniel Sorensen and Eric Murray.
Free agency begins on March 14, the start of the new league year.