What's the rationale on Preston Parker's new deal?
Though it wasn't posted here, we mentioned in today's newspaper that receiver Preston Parker earlier this month received a contract extension that takes him through the end of the 2013 season.
Previously, Parker was under contract only for 2012 after signing his exclusive-rights free agent tender.
We're happy for Parker, who now is scheduled to earn $1 million in 2013 (up from his unchanged $540,000 this fall). But it's reasonable to ask why, exactly, the Bucs decided to do this?
It's an odd move, to some extent. Parker has no negotiating rights after just two years of NFL experience. He would have become a restricted free agent next season, but the Bucs would still have had the ability to keep him for very little. Teams usually see no need to address the contracts of such players.
So, again, what prompted the Bucs to do this? We can now shed a bit more light on this. It turns out Parker and his agent approached the Bucs about this, and the team agreed to go through with it.
Is this something of an endorsement of Parker, who ranked second among receivers in 2011 with 40 catches? Perhaps. It certainly isn't an indictment, that's for sure.
Parker is again fighting for playing time as a slot receiver, but Sammie Stroughter is healthy again and will provide competition.