DB Parker Vick-tim of NFL numbers game

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

TORONTO -- Don't count Byron Parker among those protesting the Philadelphia Eagles' signing of Michael Vick.

And if anyone had an argument against Vick joining the Eagles, it was Parker, who was the roster casualty when the quarterback joined the team.

The defensive back wasn't really enjoying his time with the NFL club, and when he was released, he immediately returned to the Toronto Argonauts and his comfort zone.

Even when the Eagles called Parker back to join in the circus Vick's signing has created, the 28-year-old two-time CFL all-star declined.

"I wasn't bitter or anything," said Parker, who will make his season debut tonight against the Calgary Stampeders at Rogers Centre (5:30 p.m., TSN/AM 770).

"To call me on Monday asking me to come back. I said 'why release me on Friday?' I was happy with the situation (in Toronto).

"I said I would send Michael Vick a Christmas card to say thank you. It wasn't bad for me, because I could come back here to the CFL."

Calling it a 'tough situation' with the Eagles, Parker never really felt like he was given a chance to win a job.

It's the opposite deal with the Argos, who he joined in 2005.

"I got caught up in the politics game. When you go down there and you think you have a legit shot, but things don't seem to work out," Parker said. "Fortunately, I got a chance to come back to a place I consider to be home.

"The thing is to stay mentally strong. That's what I learned the most from being down there. You have to treat each day like it's your last one ... I'm back here, so I'm having more fun."

This is a different Argos team than the one he left.

Parker was one of seven Argos regulars to start every game last season, when the team transitioned from Rich Stubler to Don Matthews as head coach and lost 14 games.

Bart Andrus took over this off-season as the head coach and he brought an entire new staff with him.

"He's shown up pretty good in practice since he's been here," Andrus said. "There are times and situations when he will be involved.

"He is a guy who sniffs out the ball wherever he is."


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