The Atlanta Falcons are cleaning up, in part thanks to the exceptionally weird safety market this offseason. Players like Eric Reid and Kenny Vaccaro are still unsigned, depressing the market so significantly that the Falcons were able to add a veteran like former Kansas City Chiefs safety Ron Parker.
How much did they get Parker for? Per Field Yates, almost nothing.
Worth noting given the number of veteran safeties still looking for work: Ron Parker’s one-year deal with the Falcons is for the veteran minimum of $915K (cap hit of $630K).— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 26, 2018
We know fans love stressing about cap space more than just about anything else in football. If we give Julio Jones an extension, how are we going to keep guys like Brooks Reed? The Falcons have over $6.6 million in cap space today, per Over The Cap. There is some money to spend, but not too much if they want to pay Calvin Ridley and enter the season with a healthy emergency fund.
Parker actually helps more than a younger player. Not only does he have years of pro experience, the Falcons get $275,000 in cap relief for signing a veteran for league minimum. I would have been happy with either Vaccaro or Reid as well, but Dan Quinn reportedly tried signing Parker before he went to the Chiefs. Now he gets Parker for a significant discount as a backup.
That’s a crafty move by Thomas Dimitroff, and should keep enough space to give Julio a potential small bump in pay.