One of the most under-the-radar moves the Eagles made in the offseason was bringing in Will Parks, the hometown kid with the mega-watt smile. Well, the do-it-all safety may be playing on borrowed time just two games into his Philly tenure.
Parks has suddenly become expendable. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Eagles are letting teams know that Parks is available in a trade. The report didn’t indicate a reason or an asking price. It only stated the Philly native is on the market.
Names of Eagles and Vikings players have continued to pop up, as two teams that expected to contend and have had rough starts consider their options. Eagles S Will Parks and Vikings franchise-tagged S Anthony Harris are new available names that I’ve heard over the last few days.
I KNOW HIM. https://t.co/bA6yWOrP4D
— William (@PhillyWill11) October 12, 2020
The news comes as somewhat of a shocking development considering Parks’ enthusiasm in playing for his hometown team, coupled with his limited sample size in midnight green. The former Broncos safety injured his hamstring in training camp and sat out the first five weeks. He’s been used sparingly since activated, only seeing 56 defensive snaps in two games.
“I’m a guy who likes challenges so I wouldn’t want them to want me to be here if I didn’t want that role,” Parks told reporters in August. “I’m here for a championship. I’m here to help win a championship.”
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Eagles Other Options at Safety
The Eagles signed Parks because they were enthralled by his versatility, a hybrid corner-safety who can play anywhere. He was supposed to be the third safety in the “Big Nickel” package on defense.
“I’m everywhere … dime, corner, both safeties, I’m everywhere,” Parks said. “I’m all over the field and that’s what I take pride in.”
In two games with the #Eagles, opposing QBs have just a 56.2 passer rating targeting Will Parks.
He's made a huge difference in the secondary.
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) October 27, 2020
So what went wrong? That’s a question for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. On the surface, it appears the Eagles feel more comfortable giving his snaps to rookie K’Von Wallace, the former Clemson standout who had been mostly relegated to special teams. Wallace has been dealing with a neck injury, too.
Wallace and veteran Marcus Epps split the first-team reps at starting safety when Jalen Mills filled in at cornerback for Avonte Maddox. The Eagles also have high-energy safety Rudy Ford on the roster.
“He embraced it and I thought he did a really good job in that game,” Schwartz said of Wallace on Oct. 6. “Covered well and tackled well.”
Finances Don’t Make Sense, Draft Picks
Moving on from Parks doesn’t make a ton of sense from a financial standpoint. He’s only due $1 million in base salary on his one-year Philly deal, with a very small $1.48 million in cap savings. Simply put, Parks is more valuable on the field than in a trade.
The only logical explanation for shedding Parks would be to acquire draft capital. Maybe GM Howie Roseman feels he could swing a Day 2 draft pick out of a potential trade. Parks could help an “all-in” AFC team (think: Ravens, Chiefs) without coming back to haunt Philly in the playoffs. Time will tell.
— 4th and JAWN (@4thandJawn) October 29, 2020