One of the first names to come up in Eagles free-agent speculation this year was that of Denver Broncos safety Will Parks. It took several days, but on Saturday, Parks agreed to a one-year contract to come home to the city where he was born.
Parks, who turns 26 in July, is a Germantown High School graduate who went to the Broncos as a sixth-round draft choice in 2016, from Arizona. He has missed just two games in four NFL seasons, and last year he started seven times for Denver, sometimes playing the nickel spot. Parks also has played special teams.
He reportedly had offers from other teams. But, along with the chance to come home, signing with the Eagles offers Parks opportunity. Rodney McLeod probably will start at one safety spot, but the other spot, vacated by Malcolm Jenkins, currently is occupied by cornerback Jalen Mills, who hasn’t played safety since his LSU days.
And behind Mills, the third safety role is wide open. Marcus Epps and Rudy Ford are the only other safeties under contract.
Parks returned to Philly last offseason to work to limit gun violence, after he lost an uncle to a shooting in Hunting Park. Asked then by the PhillyVoice if he would like to play for the Eagles someday, Parks hedged. At the time, he was trying to work out a deal to stay in Denver. He also acknowledged that he was a Cowboys fan growing up.
In 2010, as a junior at Germantown High, Parks played wideout, halfback, fullback, tight end, cornerback, and kick returner.
“I try to be everything for the team,” he said then.