Report: Parcells says he'll return

Updated: January 26, 2009, 11:01 AM ET
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com

In his most definitive comments yet about his future with the Miami Dolphins, football operations boss Bill Parcells declared he intends to return to the club he helped rebuild from a one-win season into AFC East champions.

"My intention is to do what I've been doing," Parcells told the New York Daily News for Saturday's editions. "I think we will have ample time to figure each other out. I'm very optimistic."

Parcells signed a four-year contract in December 2007, but a walkout clause allows him to leave the Dolphins with full pay -- a reported $12 million -- in the event owner Wayne Huizenga no longer ran the team. The clause also allows him to work for another NFL team without compensation to the Dolphins.

Manhattan real-estate developer Stephen Ross on Tuesday finalized his purchase of an additional 45 percent of the team and Dolphin Stadium, leaving Huizenga only 5 percent.

The Daily News reported Parcells met with Ross on Friday. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano also attended.

Changing the culture

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Tony Sparano feels that the 2008 Dolphins have successfully changed the football culture in Miami.

"I've had two or three meetings with Steve Ross and he seems to be a guy who wants to do things the right way," Parcells said, according to the newspaper. "There will be a period of adjustment. He's got to find out about the business. We are going to try and make things work. I'm not doing this forever."

Ross said on a Tuesday conference call with South Florida reporters he was 100 percent sure Parcells would be back for 2009, but when asked when Parcells specifically informed him of that, Ross indicated such a conversation hadn't taken place yet.

There had been speculation Parcells would use the 30-day walkout window as leverage to enhance the remaining three years of his contract or to give him another walkout option after next season.

"I will never take another dollar from the Dolphins other than what I am earning," Parcells said, according to the Daily News. "I'm not trying to leverage anything. I got more money than I can spend now."

Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com.

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