KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Recently signed Chiefs safety Ron Parker drew heavy interest around the league during his brief time on the market as an unrestricted free agent.
Parker, of course, listened to numerous suitors and even had a free-agent visit with the Chicago Bears. He said outside of the Chiefs, the Atlanta Falcons expressed the heaviest interest.
But there was no doubt in Parker’s mind where he preferred to sign.
“During the whole process, man, it never left my heart,” Parker said during a Monday conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “I was just dying and wanted to come back here, and was hoping that the Chiefs organization and (general manager) John Dorsey could get it done, because just my relationship with the coaches and everybody in the building is just unbelievable. It never entered my mind to think about going somewhere else. I knew I wanted to be a Chief.”
The feeling from One Arrowhead Drive is mutual.
“I am happy we were able to work out a deal with Ron and his agent to keep him in Kansas City,” Dorsey said in a statement announcing Parker’s signing. “He is a versatile player with a great attitude that’s made a positive impact on both defense and special teams. Right from the beginning of this process, we wanted Ron back in a Chiefs uniform.”
The 27-year-old Parker broke out in 2014, appearing in 16 games with a career-high 15 starts (11 at safety).
He made the most of the playing time at cornerback and safety to total 94 tackles (84 solo), a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, 12 passes defensed and quarterback hurry.
Entering free agency provided anxious moments, but Parker said the Chiefs began letting him know towards the end of the 2014 season he was part of the team’s future plans.
“The message to me when the season wound down,” Parker said, “they just told me they wanted me back and they just hoped everything worked out for the best of us.”
Kansas City rewarded the fifth-year pro, who enters his third season with the Chiefs, rather handsomely.
While the Chiefs didn’t disclose financial terms, Parker signed a five-year contract worth up to $30 million with $8 million guaranteed, as previously reported by ChiefsDigest.com.
The contract represents a significant pay increase from the base salary of $645,000 Parker earned in 2014.
And now he will have fun trying to figure out how to spend it after coming off the adrenaline rush of his return to the Chiefs.
“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Parker said. “Like I said, I’m still dreaming. It hasn’t hit me yet. It’s a dream come true.”
The Chiefs’ back end of coverage currently shapes out with safeties Parker, Husain Abdullah, Tyvon Branch, Kelcie McCray, Daniel Sorensen and Sanders Commings.