I have read various message board post this week about how the Steelers should trade away running back Willie Parker before the season ends now that Rashard Mendenhall had one break out game as a starter. The truth is, while Mendenhall certainly looked great against a banged up 3-4 Chargers defense, it was only one game. Throw in the fact that having two good running backs on the roster that can carry the ball 20 plus times is a great insurance from an injury standpoint as we are seeing now with Parker being sidelined. Sure, Parker is in the final year of his contract and will in all likelihood be gone in return for nothing at seasons end, but to trade him for a few draft picks takes away the ability to have a chance to win now.
Realistically, Parker would likely only garner a 3rd or 4th round pick and maybe another later round pick with the right buyer, but it is not enough. Also this assumes Parker gets back to 100%. Right now he can heal slowly over the next few weeks while Mendenhall gets a heavier work load with a fresher body and legs. Parker can return after the bye week and spell Mendenhall to keep him fresher should the starting gig be his at that point. Many will point to Isaac Redman as a reason to move Parker, but do you really want a player you truly know nothing about other than late pre-season appearances and a few goal-line drill reports to be the guy you go to should Mendenhall go down? Just because a player will walk for nothing in the offseason, is no reason to trade away a chance to win a 7th Lombardi Trophy.