KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Chiefs safety Ron Parker announced his retirement on Monday, ending an eight-year career spent primarily in Kansas City.
“I would like to thank the Chiefs and the Hunt family for believing in me and giving me my opportunity to take off,” Parker wrote in a retirement announcement posted on Twitter.
Parker entered the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent from Newberry, a Division II college in South Carolina, where he earned All-American honors. He signed as a free agent with Seattle, and later spent time with Oakland and Carolina as well as a two more stints with the Seahawks.
Parker was the prize of Kansas City's “second draft” in 2013. The Chiefs held the first waiver priority during the final cut down to 53-man rosters by virtue of their league-worst 2-14 record in 2012. Parker was one of seven players the club claimed that weekend, along with defensive tackle Jaye Howard, linebacker Dezman Moses and cornerback Ron Cooper.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Monday he had “world of respect” for Parker on and off the field.
“He came in as a small college guy and I just thought did a great job,” Reid said. “I told him he would be a great coach. He kind of knew what was going on, he had a great way about him. Good leader, all those things and could run like a son of a gun.”
Parker played in 16 games for the Chiefs in 2013, picking off two passes while adding a sack and a forced fumble in just 92 defensive snaps. The next season he began making the transition to safety, and played a mixed of free safety and slot corner in the Kansas City secondary alongside Eric Berry.
He spent five seasons with the Chiefs before signing a free-agent deal with Atlanta in 2018. The Falcons released Parker late during the preseason. With a wave of injuries hitting the safety position, the Chiefs and Parker reunited for the 2018 season. He played 15 games, picking off two passes and a sack.
Parker finished his career with 78 starts in 105 games played, with 95 of those games played with Kansas City. He collected 394 total tackles with eight sacks and 11 interceptions.
He thanked Reid for believing him and providing an opportunity in the NFL.
“Can't thank you enough for what an unbelievable career that I had,” Parker wrote about Reid. “Now I look forward to taking that next step in life and continue to be the great person.”