NFC South: Roscoe Parrish

Reviewing NFC South free agents

March, 7, 2013
We’ve shown you the lists of potential NFC South free agents before. But let’s do it again because there have been some minor moves and the free-agency period is getting ready to start Tuesday.

Here’s the list of potential free agents for all four NFC South teams:

Atlanta Falcons. Tony Gonzalez, Brent Grimes, Sam Baker, William Moore, Will Svitek, Mike Cox, Todd McClure, Luke McCown, Christopher Owens, Mike Peterson, Garrett Reynolds, Lawrence Sidbury and Vance Walker all can become unrestricted free agents. Michael Palmer can become a restricted free agent.

Carolina Panthers. The potential unrestricted free agents are Derek Anderson, Antwan Applewhite, Gary Barnidge, Dwan Edwards, Ben Hartsock, Sherrod Martin, Captain Munnerlyn, Louis Murphy and Mike Pollak. Richie Brockel can become an exclusive-rights free agent. Andre Neblett, Nate Ness and Jason Phillips are scheduled to become restricted free agents.

New Orleans Saints. Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Casillas, Chase Daniel, Sedrick Ellis, Devery Henderson, Ramon Humber, Elbert Mack, Turk McBride, Will Robinson, Courtney Roby and Scott Shanle can become unrestricted free agents. Brian De La Puente, Justin Drescher, Junior Galette and Chris Ivory are scheduled to become restricted free agents. Eric Olsen and Michael Higgins can become exclusive-rights free agents.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ronde Barber, Dallas Clark, Michael Bennett, E.J. Biggers, Andrew Economos, Roy Miller, Roscoe Parrish, Sammie Stroughter and Jeremy Trueblood can become unrestricted free agents. LeGarrette Blount, Jacob Cutrera, Corvey Irvin and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim are scheduled to become restricted free agents.

Looking at Bucs' offensive snaps

February, 12, 2013
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Vincent Jackson to a five-year, $55 million contract last offseason, it was clear they expected him to earn the money.

Jackson did that by instantly becoming a true No. 1 wide receiver. But he also put in plenty of time. Jackson was on the field for 93.04 percent of Tampa Bay’s 1,049 offensive plays.

The only other wide receivers with higher playing-time percentages in 2012 were Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (97.91 percent), Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (96 percent) and Atlanta’s Roddy White (93.21).

Here’s a look at the breakdown of playing-time percentage for the rest of Tampa Bay’s offense:

Looking at Tampa Bay's free agents

February, 11, 2013
Let’s finish our look at the potential NFC South free agents with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Safety Ronde Barber, tight end Dallas Clark, defensive end Michael Bennett, cornerback E.J. Biggers, long-snapper Andrew Economos, linebacker Geno Hayes, defensive tackle Roy Miller, receiver/return man Roscoe Parrish, receiver Sammie Stroughter and tackle Jeremy Trueblood can become unrestricted free agents. Running back LeGarrette Blount, linebacker Jacob Cutrera, defensive tackle Corvey Irvin and defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim can become restricted free agents.

The good news is the Bucs have enough salary-cap room to bring back any of their own free agents that they want and there likely are several they want to keep.

Let’s start with Barber. He switched from cornerback to safety last season and continued to play at a relatively high level. The common assumption is that the Bucs want Barber back for another season. But it’s unknown at this point if Barber wants to continue playing. If he decides to retire, he needs to let the Bucs know in the next few weeks so they can begin moving in a different direction.

Bennett might be the key player on Tampa Bay’s list of free agents. In his fourth season, Bennett emerged as a decent pass-rusher (nine sacks), despite not having the injured Adrian Clayborn opposite him for most of the season. Tampa Bay has the nucleus for what could become a very good defensive line and that means it is important to re-sign Bennett and Miller.

Clark came in as a free agent last season and gave the team some help at tight end. But he wasn’t the player he was in his prime in Indianapolis and I could see the Bucs looking to bring in another tight end.

Although the Bucs are expected to overhaul the cornerback position, Biggers is one guy they may keep. In an ideal world, Biggers isn’t a guy the Bucs want in a starting role. But he can be decent as a third or fourth cornerback.

Stroughter and Trueblood are underachievers who are likely to walk as free agents.

NFC South afternoon update

October, 29, 2012
Time to take a look at the day's top headlines from around the NFC South:


Coach Greg Schiano said he could not address a FOX Sports report that cornerback Eric Wright soon will be suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL hasn’t announced anything yet. It’s possible this situation is in the appeals process. It’s also possible that, with the NFL office closed due to Hurricane Sandy, this matter might not be dealt with immediately. Either way, Schiano said Wright has an Achilles injury that could keep him out of Sunday’s game at Oakland. Get ready to see more of Leonard Johnson, E.J. Biggers and Myron Lewis.

Roscoe Parrish, who was brought in to solidify a struggling punt-return game, muffed a punt against Minnesota and hasn’t had a big return yet. But Parrish said he’s confident better times are ahead and he doesn’t want to press too much. Sounds good in theory, but Parrish might want to press a bit because I’m not sure the Bucs have come to view him as the long-term solution.


Bradley Handwerger writes that it’s time to accept the reality that this isn’t going to be the Saints’ season. There still was a glimmer of hope going into Sunday night, but that disappeared when the Broncos ripped the Saints apart. The Saints have way too many problems to make a dramatic turnaround. I’m looking at their remaining schedule and I see only five games that I think they even have a chance to win. That means 7-9 is an absolute best-case scenario.


Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers aren’t actively shopping anyone for a trade. But that doesn’t mean nothing will happen before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline. Teams don’t usually shop their own players. Other teams generally have an idea of who might be on the block and they’ll make inquiries. If someone asks about running back DeAngelo Williams, or almost anyone else on the roster, I think the Panthers a least have to listen.

Scott Fowler writes that bad coaching decisions were responsible for Sunday’s loss to Chicago. He’s right. Rivera made some questionable moves, but it wasn’t all about the coaching. You can also put plenty of blame on the players.


Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon suffered a low-ankle sprain against Philadelphia. As is his custom, coach Mike Smith wouldn’t go into much detail about the injury, so we’ll have to see if Weatherspoon returns to practice later in the week. Against the Eagles, the Falcons had middle linebacker Akeem Dent pick up the snaps after Weatherspoon was injured. But if Weatherspoon is going to miss any games, it would be significant. He probably has been Atlanta’s best linebacker this season.

Smith said defensive tackle Corey Peters played 20 snaps as he made his season debut after sitting out the first six games with a foot injury. As long as there are no setbacks, I’d imagine you’ll see Peters’ playing time gradually increase as the season goes on.

Bucs capitalize on veteran benefit

September, 27, 2012
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team that prides itself on building through the draft. But the Bucs stepped out of character a bit this week by signing veterans Roscoe Parrish and Jeff Charleston.

But these moves were exceptions and came due to necessity. The Bucs needed to add defensive end depth after losing Adrian Clayborn to a season-ending injury, so they went out and signed Charleston. Sammie Stroughter, who was supposed to be the punt returner, got hurt. The Bucs then signed Jordan Shipley, but he had trouble fielding punts and the Bucs released him and went out and signed Parrish.

What’s important to note here is that the Bucs didn’t panic and pay big money for short-term fill-ins. In fact, they invested as little as possible on Parrish and Charleston.

The Bucs took advantage of the veteran minimum salary benefit when signing both players to identical contracts. Officially, Parrish and Charleston signed one-year contracts worth $700,000 and no signing bonus. But subtract the first three game checks and Parrish and Charleston each will earn $576,470 over the rest of the season.

But the Bucs won’t be charged the full amount toward the salary cap. The veteran minimum benefit is designed to help keep veteran players in the league, by making the affordable under the salary cap and it allows their cap figure to be less than their actual salary.

Charleston and Parrish each will count only $444,705 toward this year’s cap.

That leaves the Bucs with $12.8 million (sixth most in the NFL) for this year. They still may have to make more moves this year. But by signing veterans like Charleston and Parrish, they’ve kept a lot of cap room available. That’s significant because the Bucs can carry some of that space over to next year and they already have a lot of money committed toward the 2013 cap.

Carolina is the only other NFC South team with a chance to carry over much money to next year’s cap. The Panthers currently are $5.25 million under this year’s cap. New Orleans is $3.2 million under and Atlanta is $1.15 million under.

Around the NFC South

September, 27, 2012
Time for a team-by-team look at the Thursday morning headlines from around the division:


Dory LeBlanc writes that the Tampa Bay front four is looking for a performance similar to what it had against Dallas when it plays Washington this week. The Bucs did a good job putting pressure on Tony Romo, but they’re going to face a different style quarterback in Robert Griffin III. He’s a big-time running threat and stopping him won’t be easy, especially after losing defensive end Adrian Clayborn to a season-ending injury.

The Bucs will turn to veteran Roscoe Parrish as their third punt returner after Sammie Stroughter was injured and replacement Jordan Shipley struggled to field punts. Parrish had a lengthy and successful run in Buffalo. At this stage of his career, he might not be dynamic as he once was. But he should at least be able to field punts.


With the team off to an 0-3 start, interim coach Aaron Kromer acknowledged that maybe the Saints were impacted by all the offseason distractions and didn’t prepare properly. I’m starting to think there’s some truth in that. But it’s still a bit surprising because this is a veteran team and coaching staff that should have simply been able to follow the system built by suspended coach Sean Payton.

As the regular NFL officials head back to work, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees refused to blame the replacement officials for the team’s slow start. Brees has been critical of the replacement officials, but said they were placed in a tough spot. I don’t think the whole saga was good for anyone, but I don’t think any calls by the replacement officials cost the Saints victories. The team was responsible for creating its own problems.


Former Carolina defensive tackle Terrell McClain has landed with New England. A third-round pick in 2011, McClain got lots of playing time as a rookie. But, in a mysterious move, McClain was cut in the preseason. I strongly suspect something was going on behind the scenes and the move was about more than football ability. The guy has some potential and New England coach Bill Belichick has had some success with reclamation projects in the past.

Linebacker Thomas Davis said the Panthers still believe they can make good on center Ryan Kalil’s promise of a Super Bowl championship. That may sound a little shaky after a 1-2 start. Carolina still has a lot of talent, but the Panthers better start turning things around soon if they’re even going to have a chance at the playoffs.

The Panthers are turning back to Kealoha Pilares as their main kickoff returner. That’s a good move because rookie Joe Adams had some issues with fumbles. Adams still has plenty of upside, but I think a little time on the sideline and some more work in practice might be the best thing for him at the moment.


Former Tampa Bay safety and current Fox analyst John Lynch says Atlanta safeties William Moore and Thomas DeCoud have gone from being “just guys’’ to taking their play to the next level. He’s right. Moore and DeCoud are off to great starts under new coordinator Mike Nolan. If they continue on their current pace, both could be candidates for the Pro Bowl.

Fullback Lousaka Polite missed Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury. This injury is worth keeping an eye on because the Falcons figure to test a Carolina run defense that hasn’t been very good on Sunday. If Polite is out, the Falcons likely will have to use running back Jason Snelling as a blocker in some situations.

Buccaneers switch return men

September, 25, 2012
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up on receiver/return man Jordan Shipley -- again.

Two days after Shipley failed to handle a punt return in a loss to Dallas, the Buccaneers have waived him. They also waived Shipley at the end of the preseason, after claiming him off waivers from Cincinnati.

The Bucs filled Shipley’s roster spot by signing veteran return man/receiver Roscoe Parrish.

In the last seven seasons with Buffalo, Parrish had 135 punt returns for 1,622 yards and three touchdowns. His 12.0-yard career punt return average ranks second to Devin Hester (12.8) among current players.

Parrish also has 134 career pass receptions for 1,502 yards and seven touchdowns and has returned 29 kickoffs for 685 yards.