The San Francisco 49ers will be looking for playmakers this offseason, and while Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. are the high profile targets, they are likely to focus on some under-the-radar options as well.
One player that could end up on their radar is Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker. The former first round pick has struggled to build his NFL career, and could be a free agent sooner rather than later. A year ago, the Dolphins picked up his fifth round option, which provided for a $9,387,000 salary in 2019. The salary is currently guaranteed for injury, and becomes fully guaranteed on March 13th.
Following the Dolphins decision to pick up the option, Parker turned in the worst season of his NFL career. He finished with 24 receptions for 309 yards and a touchdown in 11 games played, all career lows.
On Wednesday, Dolphins reporter Adam Beasley wrote a column about the team’s wide receivers and new position coach. Beasley said cuts were coming, and Parker was the first name mentioned to open the article.
All but gone.
The Dolphins are likely on the phones trying to find a trading partner, but I doubt anybody is interested in taking on a $9 million salary for Parker. Instead, it seems likely the Dolphins will decline the option before the new league year and cut him loose to find a new team without restriction.
Parker is not a guy who will get paid big bucks, but I would not be surprised to see a decent market form for him. He has been woefully inconsistent throughout his NFL career, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s 6’3, 216 pounds and ran a 4.45 40 at the Combine. That was four years ago, but I have a feeling teams will not forget the former first round pick’s status even with his struggles since.
Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius who can turn all sorts of talent into playmakers. Depending on the kind of deal for which Parker can be had, there might be some value in seeing what Shanahan can do with the receiver in his offense.
With Pierre Garçon expected to be gone, the 49ers wide receiver depth chart includes Kendrick Bourne, Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, and Trent Taylor. Richie James and Steven Dunbar will be competing for opportunities as well, but there is room to find another potential playmaker. Parker could just prove to be an NFL bust, but maybe there’s a little value to be found.