KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Defensive back Ron Parker proved his versatility for the Chiefs last season. On Saturday, he was rewarded for it.
The Chiefs and Parker agreed on a five-year, $30 million contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs, who do not disclose contract terms, had not announced the signing.
Parker's hometown newspaper, The Beaufort Gazette of South Carolina, was the first to report that the free agent was returning to Kansas City.
"Glad to be back in KC!!" Parker tweeted later. "Can't wait to get back to work."
Justin Turner, the agent who represents Parker, fielded no shortage of offers after a breakout year with the Chiefs. Parker split time at cornerback and safety, and started 15 of the 16 games he played last season. He finished with 94 tackles and an interception.
His play was critical to the success of one of the league's best defenses after Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry was diagnosed with lymphoma. Berry is still undergoing treatment for the disease, so Parker's decision to return also looms important for next season.
Even if things don't pan out at safety, he could slide over to cornerback. Sean Smith is entrenched as one of the starters but the other job is up for grabs. Marcus Cooper and Phillip Gaines are among those who are competing for the spot.
The move continues a busy first week of free agency for the Chiefs.
Along with signing Branch and Parker, they traded a fifth-round draft pick to New Orleans for offensive lineman Ben Grubbs, signed free-agent offensive lineman Paul Fanaika, reeled in wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and parted ways with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.