On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles continued to fortify the defense with the addition of safety Will Parks, who agreed to terms on a one-year deal to play for his hometown team.
The 6-1, 194-pound Parks was an All-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection at Germantown High School before going to the University of Arizona, where he was a team captain and an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection.
A sixth-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2016, Parks is only 25 years old. He played 62 games (15 starts) and registered 134 tackles, four interceptions, 13 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and 15 special teams tackles in his first four NFL seasons. Following the 2018 season, Parks was named the Broncos' most improved player by Pro Football Focus and called "the model for the modern dime linebacker." This past year, Parks had 31 tackles in 14 games (seven starts) with a sack, two pass deflections, and a forced fumble. Denver utilized Parks as a safety, dime linebacker, and nickel corner in the first year with Vic Fangio as the head coach in 2019.
"Will is versatile," Fangio said of Parks during the season. "He can play safety as you've seen him do some for us. He can play the dime position, which is very similar to the nickel position. He does like playing football and he's a good guy to have on your team. I enjoy being around him and I think everybody does."
The secondary has been the primary point of emphasis for the Eagles in the first week of free agency. Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay was acquired in an agreed-upon trade with the Detroit Lions. The team brought back safety Rodney McLeod. Cornerback Jalen Mills also returns, but has the potential to be a hybrid defensive back similar to how the team previously utilized Malcolm Jenkins, who agreed to terms with New Orleans. At safety, the Eagles also have second-year player Marcus Epps, who saw quality snaps after being acquired off waivers midseason, and Rudy Ford, known for his special teams play.
A two-time Broncos Community Ambassador Award winner, Parks continued to return to Philadelphia to speak to the youth during his time in Denver. He partnered with Philadelphia CeaseFire after a great-uncle, Barry Parks, lost his life to gun violence in 2018. He used the NFL's My Cause My Cleats campaign to bring attention to the senseless tragedies in his hometown.