Parker persevered -- and now he is in his fifth season as a starting safety for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Parker will confront his past on Sunday night when the Chiefs face the Seahawks in Seattle. The Seahawks have mostly turned over their roster since 2013 and only a handful of Seattle players, including quarterback Russell Wilson, remember him as a teammate.
But the coach who cut Parker five times, Pete Carroll, remains. Carroll said he anticipated Parker having a productive career, even if it wasn't going to happen in Seattle.
"He was plenty good enough to make it," Carroll said this week. "We just got numbered out and it didn't work out for him. We watched him for years and you always kick yourself because you wished you had him. He could have played a lot for us.
"He's done a great job. He's done a ton of playing, and [the Chiefs] found a good spot for him. He's had a terrific career."
Parker might have made it with the Seahawks at another time, but Seattle was loaded in the secondary when Parker was there from 2011 to 2013.
"That position was filled with a bunch of Pro Bowlers: Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor," Parker said. "They also had Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. Those guys were good enough to go someplace else and start. The roster was just so deep. It was just kind of hard for them to get me on the field with all of those guys in front of me at the time. It just didn't work out.
"I knew I was good enough and I knew I could play. It was just bad timing to be in Seattle for me, but I always knew I could play in the league and I would play somewhere."
Parker also was released a total of five times by four other teams, including by the Chiefs last winter. The Chiefs re-signed him shortly before the start of this regular season after injuries to starters Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen. Parker has 76 tackles and two interceptions this season.
That makes 10 times some NFL team has told Parker he's not good enough. The Seahawks account for half of those rejections, but to Carroll, that doesn't tell the whole story of Parker's time in Seattle.
The Seahawks also signed him five times, which means they saw enough potential in Parker to think he could eventually develop into a productive player.
"We knew there was something there," Carroll said. "Once you go through that many transitions with a guy, you get to know him pretty well. It was always in our thoughts he would come back to us someday. We thought we'd get another shot at him, but we didn't that last time. [The Chiefs] kept him."
The Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl following the 2013 season, so Parker was that close to getting a championship ring.
He doesn't regret missing out on that because staying in Seattle might have meant missing out on what was to follow.
"My opportunity opened up here," Parker said. "Maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in now if I would have stayed another year and got a ring.
"There's a chance to get the ring this year."