Fast Willie Parker's days were seemingly over in Pittsburgh by mid-season last year, so it's not entirely surprising he's signed somewhere new. However, the choice of teams the free-agent running back chose to sign with is a bit perplexing.
The Washington Redskins still have one time stud Clinton Portis under contract, and they also signed former Kansas City Chief/Cincinnati Bengal, Larry Johnson to a deal as well.
Parker signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $3.1 million, with the understanding from the Redskins that there will be an open competition for the Redskins' starting job.
Portis is 28, Johnson 30, and Parker 29.
This makes for one muddled backfield full of aging RB's with a truckload of health and personal issues. Parker and Portis can't stay healthy long enough to be productive on the field, and Johnson can't stop running his mouth long enough to concentrate on football.
This week Johnson gave his first press conference since signing with the Redskins, and if you believe what you hear, all misunderstood Larry needs is "a coach who cares."
This will be an interesting training camp for the Redskins with new coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan has shown a gift over his years with the Denver Broncos of using multiple running backs and turning it into on-field production.
The team cut Ladell Betts and Omar Ganther declared his free agent status, but either could return this spring. But the question remains, how will having three former starting running backs in one backfield impact the fantasy value in Washington.
Likely the RB merry-go-round is not over and it's far too early to begin making fantasy worthy predictions with this scenario. The upcoming NFL draft could reshape the situation should the Redskins decide to move out of the number four spot.
Right now the best guess is a RBBC platoon situation with Johnson and Portis. Johnson inked a 3-year deal while Parker got only one year. This may say something about Washington's plans, with the idea that Parker is actually competing for the back up role, rather than any starting opportunity.
Again, this can only be speculation at this point, but while this may be a good pick up for Shanahan and the Redskins, it doesn't help Parker, or make the fantasy landscape any smoother in D.C.
Catch Ray Tannock's perspective on other RBBC Platoons.