Since joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks on July 26, 2011, Ron Parker was released on eight different occasions after spending parts of four different seasons with four different teams.
There was no stability for the defensive back, who was an All-American at Newberry College by way of Independence Community College (Kan.), where he played just 169 miles from Arrowhead Stadium after growing up in South Carolina.
Despite the setbacks, Parker's confidence never wavered, and by faith and spirit, the goal of achieving his dream was never lost.
"I always kept a strong head and just stuck with it and kept a strong mind and kept going," Parker said. "I never thought my day would be done."
Parker was claimed via waivers from the Seattle Seahawks by the Kansas City Chiefs on September 1, 2013, a day that changed the trajectory of Parker's career path for the better.
As a mainstay for the Chiefs' second-ranked NFL scoring defense last season (17.6 ppg), Parker's 1,014 snaps played only trailed Justin Houston (1,033), Sean Smith (1,037) and Husain Abdullah (1,025) for the most on the team.
He had been given an opportunity that he had been waiting for through a lot of tough times, when eight different times teams told him there was no longer a place for him on their team.
That perseverance for Parker is something he knows can help others.
"I know some people that can relate to my story," Parker said. "It was a tough road I had to go down and I don't know if a lot of people would have been able to keep up and stay on the straight path.
"I think people can look at me as a role model. I feel that way after going through what I went through, I just give the glory of God for him to give me the ability to do what I do."
For Parker, the platform he's earned because of his journey puts him in a position to help others who might also not have things handed to them easily.
"I take a lot of pride in telling people my story because you never know," Parker said. "What I try to do is I try to change every kid's life that I can.
"I just try to do a good job giving back, telling my story to younger kids who are in my position, who are just having a hard time trying to figure it out right now. I just try to tell them my story and tell them to keep pushing. Don't give up."
Photo highlights of Ron Parker from 2013 and 2014.
Parker never gave up and because of that, he earned the long-term deal that players seek their entire NFL careers.
He finally has stability after four years of the opposite.
"This means everything in the world to me," Parker said. "I feel like my heart was just racing to this point just to find a home and be somewhere safe. Now I feel like I'm at that point where I can just settle down and just play football and focus on the future."
That future is now in Kansas City.
The journey to get here was anything but easy for Parker, who never lost sight of where he wanted to be.
"During the whole process, [Kansas City] never left my heart," he said. "I was just dying and wanted to come back here and was hoping that the Chiefs organization and John Dorsey could get it done because my relationship with the coaches and everybody in the building is just unbelievable.
"I feel like I'm still dreaming today. I'm looking forward to doing great things for the Chiefs."