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DeVante Parker abruptly retires two months after signing with Eagles

Veteran wide receiver DeVante Parker, who was expected to compete for the Eagles’ third wide receiver spot this summer, has decided to retire, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 31-year-old Parker, who has four kids, told Schefter, “I want to see my kids, spend quality time with them. I want to be there for them whenever I can.”

The Eagles signed Parker to a one-year contract in March, and with Quez Watkins, Julio Jones and Olamide Zaccheaus no longer with the team, Parker along with veteran Parris Campbell and rookies Ainias Smith from Texas A&M and Johnny Wilson from Florida State were expected to be in the mix for playing time behind starters A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

Parker spoke with the Philadelphia media in March and said he was excited to be a part of an organization that’s been to the playoffs three straight years.

“I’m just coming in looking to bring whatever I can to help the team out,” he said. “Whatever I can, whatever they ask me to do, is what I’m going to do.

“It’s a great organization, a great quarterback and unlimited talent. The talent here is amazing. I just feel like I want to be a part of that.”

Parker joins a list of Eagles who never were Eagles that includes Mark Brunell, Frank Gore, Marquise Goodwin and Myles Jack.

Parker caught 402 passes for 5,660 passes and 27 touchdowns in nine seasons, the first seven with the Dolphins, the last two with the Patriots.

He was considered a major disappointment as the 14th player taken in the 2015 draft, but he did have a big 2019 season, when he ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,202 yards and sixth with nine touchdown catches.

Parker caught 64 passes for 933 yards and three TDs the last two years with the Patriots and signed a one-year veteran-minimum $1.21 million contract with the Eagles. According to Spotrac there was no bonus, which means there is no dead money for the Eagles to deal with and zero salary cap implications.

According to Spotrac, Parker earned $57.34 million in his nine NFL seasons, about $41.18 million of it with the Dolphins.

With Parker out of the picture, Campbell becomes the top veteran candidate behind Brown and Smith.

Campbell, like Parker, is considered a huge draft disappointment. In five years since the Colts drafted him in the second round in 2019, he has 117 catches for 1,087 yards and five touchdowns. Campbell had 20-for-104 and no TDs last year with the Giants after spending his first four seasons with the Colts, including 2019 and 2020 with Nick Sirianni as his offensive coordinator.

In addition to the two rookies, the Eagles also have punt returner Britain Covey, 2023 practice squad member Joseph Ngata, former Browns practice squadder Austin Watkins and former undrafted Saint Shaquan Davis on the roster. Of that group, only Covey has played in the NFL. He had four catches for 32 yards last year and also averaged 14.4 yards per punt return.

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