Writing On The Wall For Parker

Sometimes I wonder if Dick Vermeil's trip to Oregon before the 2004 draft didn't set the Chiefs back years. Because of one plane ride north, Kansas City selected Junior Siavii, perhaps the biggest defensive tackle bust in team history, and wide receiver Samie Parker, whose NFL career is shaping up to be only slightly better.

A year ago, I was expecting big things from Parker. It was his third year in KC's offense, and though most great NFL receivers bust out in their sophomore seasons, let's be fair: there have been a ton of good wideouts who came of age in their third NFL seasons (Curtis Conway and Muhsin Muhammad, for example) and even a few great ones (Fred Biletnikoff and Steve Largent).

A year later, I'm only expecting one thing: Parker will be cut.

I'm not sure what kind of game the Chiefs have been playing this preseason (Editor's Note: I think it's called "football"), but despite my expectations, Parker's been working almost exclusively with the starters – even in training camp. This is going on while the fourth-year wide receiver has been outperformed by players such as the recently-departed Rod Gardner and second-year receivers Chris Hannon and Jeff Webb.

A casual observer might look at this and think Parker's job is secure. Why would the Chiefs cut a guy who's been starting so many games, and outside of Eddie Kennison, has the most experience of any wideout on the roster?

My response to that question, is, ironically, another question:

Why would a receiver who's supposedly a starter be playing in the fourth quarter of a meaningless exhibition game?

That took place last Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Parker was spotted running routes while Casey Printers put on an incredible display of CFL quarterbacking skills.

And it wasn't just the Saints game. Parker played late into the third quarter against the Dolphins the week earlier. I haven't gone back to check the tape from Cleveland, but I'd bet Brodie Croyle wasn't the last quarterback who played with Parker that night, either.

Here's the really awful thing about all of this:

If Parker's been receiving so much playing time, why does he have only three catches for 17 yards this preseason?

Pack your bags, Samie. Those three catches won't impress the coaching staff, and neither will the three drops (one in each game).

Right now, Hannon looks like a far more dangerous receiver, and I don't think the Chiefs will cut Jeff Webb after only two seasons. When you consider that new kick returner Eddie Drummond rounds out the receiver corps to five positions (including Eddie Kennison, Dwayne Bowe, Hannon and Webb), I think it's safe to say Parker's days in Kansas City are numbered. The Chiefs did keep six receivers on the roster a year ago, but really had no choice considering Gardner, Webb and Hannon barely contributed last season.

And why would the Chiefs keep Parker in favor of Gardner, who displayed far better hands in training camp? Watch closely, because I think tonight's game in St. Louis will be the final outing in a Chiefs uniform for #18.

Head coach Herm Edwards gave us all a clue during Tuesday's press conference:

"Every player is treated fairly, but they're not all treated the same," he said. "Some of them are treated with more expectations in my mind because of who they are and what they need to do to help the football team. If you feel certain players aren't doing that, then you have to shake them up a little bit and create competition at the position. I think that's important and that's what we tried to do at the receiver position. That's why we drafted a first-round receiver."

Count on Bowe starting the season in Houston. It only took one play – a spectacular 21-yard reception, featuring New Orleans safety Kevin Kaesviharn as a passenger – for him to completely outclass Parker's disappointing preseason.

And he didn't run 30 yards downfield to celebrate the first down, either.

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