The New England Patriots, who are currently in their middle of their 2019 training camp, have 90 players on their active roster at the moment. However, only 53 of them will be able to survive the cutdowns on August 31 and ultimately make the team. Over the course of the summer, we will take a look at the players fighting for those spots to find out who has the best chances of helping the Patriots defend their Super Bowl title.
Today, the series continues with one of New England’s depth defensive linemen.
Name: David Parry
Position: Defensive tackle
Jersey number: 75
Opening day age: 27
Size: 6’2, 315 lbs.
2018 review: After spending most of the 2017 season on the New Orleans Saints’ injured reserve list, David Parry signed an unrestricted free agency contract with the Minnesota Vikings the following offseason. Coming off a strong preseason outing — he appeared in all four of his new team’s contests and finished with three total quarterback disruptions (1.0 sack, 2 hits) — the former undrafted free agent made the Vikings’ roster.
Parry appeared in the first two regular season games as a rotational defensive tackle, and played 26 of a possible 143 defensive snaps (18.2%). Primarily being used to rush the passer from the interior, he registered a sack during his limited time on the field — apparently too little for the Vikings, who released him in mid-September. After one month on the open market, however, the team brought him back.
Five days later, he was in uniform for the game against the New York Jets and saw extensive action: not only did Parry play a third of the Vikings’ defensive snaps (24 of 71; 33.8%), he also was used on special teams as an interior protector on Minnesota’s field goal and extra point attempts. He played a combined eight snaps in that role, but again failed to convince the club to keep him around beyond that one contest.
After his second release, Parry failed to find a new club for more than two months. In early January, however, he was signed to a reserve/futures contract by the Patriots — ensuring that he would at least have some certainty heading towards the 2019 season.
2019 preview: The one-year, $743,750 contract Parry signed in New England does include roster and workout bonuses but no guarantees — the journeyman has to earn his money by making the 53-man roster. Given the talent ahead of him and his usage during training camp so far, however, it would take either an injury by one of the players higher up on the depth chart or an outstanding preseason performance to make the cut.
As things stand right now, the first scenario appears to be more realistic than the second. If everything goes according to New England’s plan, therefore, it would not be at all surprising if Parry’s standing on the roster did not significantly change over the next few weeks — and if his tenure with the Patriots came to an end during August 31’s roster cutdowns as a result.