Will Parks has picked up a new pregame ritual this season as a member of the Eagles.
Before each game, after warming up, the Philadelphia native heads to the 50-yard line and kisses the Eagles’ logo. Aside from getting to play in his hometown, the bald eagle has a special significance for him. He even has one tattooed on his arm.
“I just always wanted to kiss that eagle because that's my favorite sky animal,” Parks said. “And I just feel like he'll give me some blessings.”
When he kissed the Eagles logo a couple weeks ago, there was the thought in his mind that it might be the last time. Parks is with the Eagles on a one-year deal and his name came up in some trade talks before the Nov. 3 deadline.
Parks, 26, has played fairly well with the Eagles since returning from injury but his role hasn’t been as clearly defined as many expected. And the Eagles were, in fact, willing to trade him, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
But the deadline came and went and Howie Roseman didn’t make any trades. Parks will at least get to finish out this season as a member of the Eagles.
“It is what it is, man. It's part of the business,” Parks said. “I feel like as a football player and a player of my caliber, at the end of the day, teams are going to do what they want to do with you. You got to focus on what you can do to make this team win games and stuff like that. I definitely didn't worry about that too much. My focus right now is on the New York Giants and stuff like that, so it definitely was in the back of my mind but being in my fifth year I definitely know this is a business, so at the end of the day you just never know what's gonna go on. Just gotta go out there and do your game and play what you do and do what you do best and make plays.”
The Eagles are still kind of unsettled at the safety position long-term. Jalen Mills is playing on a one-year deal. Rodney McLeod has a contract through 2021. And they drafted K’Von Wallace in the fourth round.
So no one knows if Parks will be here next season. But at least he gets to finish out this year playing in his city and kissing that logo that means so much to him.
That’s why it was a relief that he wasn’t dealt last week.
“It was definitely good,” Parks said. “It was like a sigh of relief, but at the same time I wasn't really too worried about it, so you know it was just like another day at the office. But I'm a Philadelphia Eagle, I'm here in my hometown playing football and stuff like that, so that's all I can ask for. So I'm just ready to go out there and make plays.”