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May 21, 2024

Report: Eagles WR DeVante Parker retires from the NFL

DeVante Parker, who played with the Patriots the last two seasons, had signed with the Eagles in free agency back in March.

Eagles NFL
031224DeVanteParker Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports

DeVante Parker (1)

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVante Parker is retiring, according to a report from ESPN. Parker had previously signed with the team during free agency in March, and was only on the team's roster for a little over two months.

Parker, 31, was a Dolphins first-round pick (14th overall) in 2015. He was a big receiver (6'3, 215) with 4.45 speed who was heading into his 10th NFL season before deciding to retire. He had one big season in 2019, but has otherwise been disappointing, at least as far as first-round receivers go.

 DeVante ParkerRec Yards YPC TD 
 201526 494 19.0 
 201656 744 13.3 
 201757 670 11.8 
 201824 309 12.9 
 201972 1202 16.7 
 202063 793 12.6 
 202140 515 12.9 
 202231 539 17.4 
 202333 394 11.9 

Since that 1200-yard season in 2019, Parker has found it difficult to get open, to put it mildly: 

Had Parker continued his NFL career, he would have had a chance to compete for a role in Eagles training camp, but wasn't a lock to make the 53-man roster.

The loss of Parker certainly isn't a big blow to the team, but his retirement serves as a reminder of how thin the Eagles are at wide receiver after A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Their depth at wide receiver now probably looks something like this:

 WRA.J. Brown Johnny WilsonJoseph Ngata

 WRDeVonta Smith Parris CampbellAustin Watkins Jr.
Shaquan Davis
 WRBritain CoveyAinias SmithJacob Harris

The Eagles should have an interesting battle for the WR3 job in training camp. Britain Covey and Ainias Smith best fit the profile of the classic slot receiver, in that they're smaller, shifty guys. They're also both inexperienced. Smith is a fifth-round rookie and Covey has just four career receptions in two seasons.

Because A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are both weapons out of the slot in addition to the outside, it's not imperative that the WR3 fits the classic slot receiver profile. When the Eagles signed a big receiver in Julio Jones last season, for example, he quickly became the WR3, even if that didn't exactly pan out. Parker might've filled that role, but obviously now he will not. Rookie sixth-round pick Johnny Wilson (6'6, 231) is the lone remaining big receiver of the backups. 

The Eagles also signed sixth-year veteran Parris Campbell earlier this offseason. He is a speedster (4.31 40 once upon a time) who does not play like a speedster (career 9.3 yards per catch).

If Brown or DeVonta Smith get hurt, the Eagles' offense could be in serious trouble. I would imagine Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office will continue to look for ways to add to this group.

MORE: Eagles win-loss predictions 

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