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Trade Rumor: Roscoe Parrish Could Be Heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Roscoe Parrish #11 of the Buffalo Bills returns a punt against the San Francisco 49ers  on November 30, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The 49ers won10-3.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Matt SchaeferCorrespondent IApril 19, 2009

After trading away left tackle Jason Peters just a few days ago, another current member of the Buffalo Bills could be suiting up in a different uniform for the start of next season.

Speedy wide receiver and return specialist Roscoe Parrish could be on the move to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Matt Pawlikowski, of Examiner.com, reported today that according to an NFL source, the Bills have been in talks about dealing wide receiver Roscoe Parrish to the Steelers. It is also being reported that the Bills are looking for a draft pick or multiple picks in return for the wideout.

Parrish has been one of the best punt returners in football during the past few years and has a career average of 14 yards per punt return to go along with three career return touchdowns.

He also hauled in 24 catches for 232 yards and one touchdown last season.

The move would be because of a numbers game within the Bills organization. What it comes down to is that there are too many wide receivers on the roster, so someone has to go, and Parrish would fetch the most in return (other than Lee Evans, of course).

The Bills have their top two wideouts in Evans and newcomer Terrell Owens. Josh Reed is a zone-busting machine and will fill in the No. 3 spot.

Steve Johnson, a seventh round selection in last year's draft, has showed that he has the physique (6'2", 202 lbs.) and, most importantly, the skills to belong in the NFL. Johnson got more playing time as the season went on, and towards the end of the season was even starting a game or two while hauling in two touchdown receptions on the year.

In my eyes, Johnson has passed Parrish on the depth chart, and also makes a lot less.

Johnson makes $385,000, $470,000, and $550,000 in salary over the next three seasons. Parrish, on the other hand, is due to make much more over those same years due to roster bonuses and signing bonuses that came with his extension he signed back in 2007. This year for example, Parrish has a $2.7 million cap hit against the salary cap.

Even with this possibly being the last season with a salary cap, $2.7 million is way too much to be paying a fourth string wide receiver. I haven't even mentioned last year's second round pick, James Hardy, who the Bills are not just going to give up on.

It all makes sense for the Bills to trade Parrish now and take what picks they can get. It hasn't been reported what rounds the Bills are exactly looking to get. However, a late day one pick can't be out of the question.

While Parrish brings a lot to the table in terms of his special teams ability, the Bills don't really need him anymore.

They have players they can put back there to return, so there shouldn’t be too big of a drop-off in terms of return yardage on punts.

Bills cornerback and first round selection Leodis McKelvin could pick up the punt return duties. He had seven touchdown returns on punts in college, as he is starting to turn into the Bills' special team ace.

Fred Jackson could also move back to catching punts, something he has done sparely during his time with the Bills. He did average 16.6 yards a return and had a long of 35 yards. He can certainly step in too.

While Parrish leaving would create some upset fans, it would be a step in the right direction for a team looking to become a contender in the next year or two.

That possible draft pick (or picks) in return for Parrish could help the Bills address more of their needs this offseason and move them one step closer to becoming a winning team.

It would give them more possible pieces to add to the puzzle.


Matt Schaefer is the Bills Fan Voice of NFLTouchdown.com.  You can contact him anytime with comments, suggestions, and questions by sending over an e-mail to buffbillsfan517@yahoo.com.

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