Willie Parker Released: Washington Redskins Drop RB, But Will He Get Picked Up?

Jeremy Lookabaugh Correspondent ISeptember 4, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Runningback Willie Parker #39 of the Washington Redskins rushes the football against the Arizona Cardinals during preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Washington Redskins Release Willie Parker

The Washington Redskins informed running back Willie Parker that he will be released after signing a one-year deal with the team in the spring.

Washington told Parker he would have an open competition for the starting running back spot with Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis, and Ryan Torain. Many experts questioned the reasons why Parker went to Washington in the first place with the Redskins' loaded backfield.


Parker's Time with the Steelers 

Parker was a Pro Bowler in 2006 and 2007 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, averaging 1,337 yards in three seasons for the black and gold from 2005-07.

The Steelers signed "Fast Willie" as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina because of his incredible speed and elusiveness.

He surprised the Steelers' organization and quickly became a fan favorite, but the Steelers went in a different direction when they drafted running back Rashard Mendenhall.

Parker became the backup last season in his fifth full year. He still believed he could be a team's featured back. But Parker has suffered from injuries recently and his speed has slowed significantly.


Where Can Parker End Up

Parker is in the process of hiring a new agent and many around the league believe he will select Peter Schaffer, who represented former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis.

He finished the 2009 season with 389 yards on 98 carries. He will turn 30 years old in the middle of this season. Running backs typically hit the wall at 30 and begin to go down hill.

Parker can still be a complementary backup for a team in need of a veteran running back.

The Denver Broncos are suffering through some injuries at the running back position and they signed LenDale White for support, but he is out for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

He could also sign with the Seattle Seahawks, whose leading running back, Julius Jones, had only 663 yards last season. They were ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing.

Parker could also improve the Cleveland Browns' running game. They were eighth in the NFL last season, but lost Jamal Lewis and leading rusher Jerome Harrison might struggle as the featured back.