TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Running back Willie Parker #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks with the media during the AFC Media Day at Raymond James Stadium on January 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
The Washington Redskins are stockpiling running backs like they are going out of business.
The team reached a deal Friday with former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Willie Parker, according to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter. The one-year deal is reportedly worth up to $3 million, but it has lots of incentives.
"Fast" Willie now joins Clinton Portis and newly signed Larry Johnson. Five years ago all three of these guys led their teams in rushing, and now they must battle it out for playing time. It's a battle of the veterans, so let the competition begin.
Parker's agent, Douglas Hendrickson, told the Associated Press the Redskins have told Parker that "it's an open competition for the starting job."
Don't be surprised if the Redskins are not done yet. They could use one of their draft picks on a running back. Portis is 28 years old, Parker is 29, and LJ is 30.
There is more reward than risk in signing Parker. If one of these guys isn't healthy or can't play anymore, they may not make the final roster. While Parker is 29, his workload hasn't been as heavy as that of his competition.
The Redskins only had one guy with experience on the roster before signing Johnson and Parker. The team cut Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Marcus Mason and didn't re-sign Quinton Ganther.
The free agency period started out slow for the Skins, but it's certainly picking up as the NFL draft quickly approaches in three weeks.