Chargers sign Parker to new five-year deal

The San Diego Chargers have re-signed wide receiver Eric Parker to a new five-year contract. Parker signed a three-year deal with the team in July 2004 and his contract was due to expire after the 2006 season. This new contract guarantees Parker will continue to wear the Lightning Bolts until 2010.

"Eric represents everything we want to see in a San Diego Charger," said General Manager A.J. Smith. "Though he's still only 26 years old, Eric sets a great example for our other players. He leads by example. His work ethic is second-to-none. It's a good feeling to know Eric Parker will be a Charger for the next five years."

Parker is coming off a 2005 season in which he was the team's third-leading receiver with 57 catches, good for 725 yards and three touchdowns. The six-foot, 180-pound receiver, who will be playing his fifth NFL season in 2006, also is a capable punt returner, having filled that role down the stretch last season.

Parker's repeated performances in the clutch have earned him the moniker of "The Bondsman," because he's always there to bail you out. Of Parker's 57 catches in 2005, nearly one-third (17) came on third down and nearly two-thirds (35) resulted in first downs.

Parker's receptions and yardage totals in 2005 were both career highs, while his touchdown total was one shy of his career-best (4), set in 2004.

In four seasons (2002-05), Parker has assembled a career resume that includes 139 receptions, good for 1,927 yards and 11 touchdowns. A durable player, who plays one of the more physically demanding positions in football, Parker has missed only two games the last two seasons due to injury. In 2005, he played in 15 games and started nine.

Parker originally joined the Chargers in 2002 as an undrafted free agent. He originally signed with Houston following an up-and-down collegiate career at Tennessee, but left the Texans shortly after the team's first Mini Camp. He returned to Knoxville, Tennessee in search of a full-time job to support his young son, Eric, and contemplated giving up football for good. As Training Camp in 2002 approached, Parker had a change of heart and signed with the Chargers on July 23, 2002. He has remained with San Diego ever since.

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