ESPN's Parcells likely to become vice president of Falcons

Updated: December 19, 2007, 1:15 PM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN.com

Bill Parcells said Wednesday that he likely will accept the Atlanta Falcons' offer to become the team's vice president of football operations.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. [Owner] Arthur [Blank] and I have had some pretty constructive discussions. I basically will oversee the football operations. We'll meet today -- not in Atlanta -- and work out some of the final details but I don't think there's any deal breakers here," Parcells said.

Parcells said he has no plans to return to coaching.

"Arthur wants to rebuild the football operation. I'll hire a general manager and then we'll hire a coach. We'll do this together, the GM, the coach and myself. The coach absolutely will not be Bill Parcells. All this happens if we finalize this thing, which I expect to do."

Asked about a potential GM and coach, Parcells said, "I've got a list but that's all I'm saying."

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Parcells added that current GM Rich McKay would be asked to stay aboard but that "I don't really know how he feels about that."

Blank has informed McKay that he will not return in the same role, even though the owner wants McKay to remain as the team's president, sources said.

Blank's talks with Parcells evolved from an advisory role into a firm offer to rebuild his football operation, sources said.

Blank could not be reached for comment.

Parcells, an ESPN NFL analyst, also has had limited dialogue with the Miami Dolphins about a similar role but the talks with the Falcons have been more urgent, a league source said.

McKay is out as general manager, sources said, even if Parcells does not join the Falcons. However, Blank has asked McKay to remain as the team's president to oversee short-range and long-range stadium plans and continue as a valuable liaison with the league.

It is uncertain if McKay would accept a new role with the Falcons. He also is co-chairman of the league's competition committee.

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If Parcells declines his offer, Blank still will hire a new general manager or he could give personnel control to the new head coach, sources said.

Blank has acted with urgency since Bobby Petrino resigned as coach on Dec. 12th. He spoke with Bill Cowher on Friday when the former Steelers coach told the owner that he had no plans to return to the sidelines in 2008, sources said.

The Falcons owner also consulted with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones concerning Parcells, who resigned in January after four years as the Dallas coach. Jones credited Parcells with the franchise's turnaround at a point the Cowboys had suffered through three consecutive 5-11 seasons.

There is added irony in that Jones was an unofficial emissary for the University of Arkansas, his alma mater, who first relayed to Blank the school's interest in Petrino.

Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN.

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