Jets Sign Playmaking 7-Year NFL Veteran to New Contract

Will Parks, Broncos

Getty Former Denver Broncos defensive back Will Parks making a tackle during an NFL game.

The New York Jets are bringing back a key backup to the fold.

NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero announced on Twitter that Gang Green re-signed veteran defensive back Will Parks on a one-year deal.

In response to the new contract, Parks took to social media to say, “thank y’all. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Real rap.”

Jets Now Have a Nice Floor at the Safety Spot

The 28-year-old, who will turn 29 ahead of the 2023 season, first joined the Jets in December of 2021. He was claimed off of waivers from the division rival Miami Dolphins who cut ties with him.

During his year and change with the Jets he has floated between the active roster and the practice squad.

All in all, he has appeared in 17 games during his Gang Green tenure and has made five starts during that span.

The safety position has been a volatile one for the Jets over the last few years and the seven-year veteran has provided some nice stability at the position when he has been called upon.

Heading into the 2023 offseason there is a lot of unknown questions regarding the safety position, at least they know they’ll have Parks in the room for next season.

In seven seasons with six different NFL teams, Parks has put up some solid production:

  • Four interceptions
  • Over 206 total tackles
  • 14 pass deflections

Revolving Door at Safety Is a Massive Area of Need Heading Into 2023

This past season the Jets starting safety tandem was Lamarcus Joyner and Jordan Whitehead.

Joyner admitted to the media during the summer that there were only two choices for him this past offseason: retiring or coming back to Gang Green.

The veteran had an up-and-down year that featured him at one point being one of the top Pro Bowl vote-getters for his position.

On one hand, he made a lot of plays (three interceptions), but he also gave up a lot of plays on the backend. This past season he finished with a 53.4 coverage grade, per PFF.

He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

On the other side was Whitehead who was signed as a free agent in 2022. He came in with a reputation as one of the best-tackling safeties in the NFL.

Although that isn’t what he was able to show on tape with the green and white.

The former Pittsburgh product was on the wrong end of some bad misses and it cost the Jets dearly.

Here were all of his grades from the 2022 season, per Pro Football Focus:

  • 66.1 overall
  • 59.4 run defense
  • 51.7 pass rush
  • 70.6 coverage

This past offseason he signed a two-year deal worth $14.5 million with nearly half of that ($7 million) guaranteed at signing.

There is a potential out in the contract if the Jets wanted to move on this offseason. Gang Green would have to eat $2.9 million in dead cap but they would create around $3.77 million in cap space, per Spotrac.

However as is the case with any player if the Jets decide to move on from a player, they will then have to replace that player. The team has enough holes to fill on their own, it will be interesting to see if they would be willing to create more.

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