It's a shame if Chiefs let Ron Parker walk

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Recently I wrote that the Kansas City Chiefs have two players in ESPN's ranking of the top 20 prospective free agents: linebacker Justin Houston (No. 3) and center Rodney Hudson (No. 19).

Now comes cbssports.com with a list of five under-the-radar free agents and again, the Chiefs have two players listed. One of them, Hudson, is on both lists. Hudson might be under-the-radar to many NFL fans -- most centers are -- but he's definitely not an unknown to league personnel types looking for help on the offensive line.

But the other under-the-radar Chief is defensive back Ron Parker. With the signings of Houston and Hudson more urgent, there's a good chance Parker moves on in free agency.

That would be a shame for the Chiefs. Parker was cut a total of eight times by the Seahawks, Raiders and Panthers before the Chiefs claimed him off waivers days before the start of the 2013 season.

That move started to pay off for the Chiefs last year. The Chiefs needed Parker as a starter, at times as a cornerback and others at strong safety as the replacement for Eric Berry. Parker was better as a safety but his play at cornerback in a midseason game against Buffalo helped give the Chiefs a much-needed victory. He broke up three passes in the end zone, two intended for Sammy Watkins, as the Chiefs repelled a late Bills drive and held on for the win.

Parker was released eight times, but he's been signed nine, so four teams now have seen something in him. He has the look of a player finally on the way up. He won't be a superstar but a solid player who can help some team win.