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Chiefs Q&A: Ron Parker could be well-positioned to take advantage of booming market for defensive backs

In 16 games this year, cornerback Ron Parker (38) led the Chiefs with 84 solo tackles and finished second in pass deflections with 12. Both were career highs, and both were No. 1 among the crop of free-agent safeties.
In 16 games this year, cornerback Ron Parker (38) led the Chiefs with 84 solo tackles and finished second in pass deflections with 12. Both were career highs, and both were No. 1 among the crop of free-agent safeties. The Kansas City Star

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know there is a lot happening on the Chiefs’ free-agency front. But let’s take a quick timeout to delve into what’s happening with one of Kansas City’s own players, cornerback Ron Parker.

Other than the fact that a bunch of teams, including the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons, are interested — and the fact he still is expected to ask for $6 million — no. But I will say this: It’s hard not to look at what the going price for DBs is this year and think Parker won’t come away with a nice contract.

Think about it. The New England Patriots locked up safety Devin McCourty for five years, $47 million. The Philadelphia Eagles locked up cornerback Byron Maxwell for six years, $63 million – someone who actually has only one more career start (17) than Parker does.

Both are the top players in the market at their respective positions, but the market is probably being inflated because of what is widely considered a weak safety draft and, in my opinion, a middling cornerback draft.

That means players like Parker figure to make a pretty penny. In 16 games this year, the 28-year-old led the Chiefs with 84 solo tackles and finished second in pass deflections with 12. Both were career highs, and both were No. 1 among the crop of free-agent safeties, which includes McCourty and Denver’s Rahim Moore.

Parker, who made $645,000 last season, racked up those stats by serving as the Swiss army knife of the Chiefs’ secondary, as he flip-flopped between cornerback (four starts) and safety (11 starts).

It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs handle this situation. Husain Abdullah is entering the last year of his deal, and Eric Berry is battling lymphoma, so it would be nice if the Chiefs could find a way to retain Parker. If one of the teams interested in him steps to the plate, I’d be surprised if the Chiefs weren’t given an opportunity to exceed the offer.

It’s just going to be interesting, given the current climate, to see what the money winds up being.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

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