On the day that every team in the league was cutting and trimming their rosters down to the league mandated 75 active players, the Oakland Raiders decided to add one to their mix. Yes, the Raiders did participate in the cut down, but they also combed the waiver wire and the scrap heap for players with the potential to help the team. One of the most glaring needs on the team has been on special teams. Roscoe Parrish is a punt return specialist, and according to Pro Football Talk, the Raiders have signed him only hours after the San Diego Chargers released him.
Despite the fact that Parrish is 30 years old, he is better than any other healthy body on the current roster. When I say punt return specialist, I mean it. Here’s a little bit of the resume that Parrish brings with him:
Led the league in yards per punt return twice (2007, 2008). Returned at least one punt for a touchdown three years in a row from 2006-8. He is also second in all-time in average yards per return (12.0 YPR) amongst active players behind only…yep, you guessed it, Devin Hester.
Parrish was drafted in the second round (55th overall) by the Buffalo Bills in the 2005 NFL Draft. He spent 7 seasons with the Bills as a WR/Punt Returner. He had 134 receptions for 1,502 yards and 7 touchdowns in that span. As a returner, he has returned 135 punts for a total of 1,622 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Although Parrish is primarily a punt returner, he has returned kicks at various points in his career. He may be asked to do that in Oakland also as he fills in for Jacoby Ford while he’s injured. He has returned 45 kickoffs for 3,880 yards for an average of 23.6 yards per return.
Because the team has yet to confirm the signing, we obviously don’t know what the corresponding roster move will be until the Raiders make it official. A roster move would have to be made in order to make room for Parrish on the 75 man roster. Look for more moves by Reggie McKenzie both before and after Friday’s mandatory cutdown day to 53 players. We’ll have it all for you here.