Parcells Poised to Join Falcons' Front Office

Bill Parcells is poised to return to the NFL in the Atlanta Falcons' front office.

Parcells and the Falcons are close to completing a deal that would put Parcells in charge of the team's football operations, a source familiar with the negotiations said this morning.

Parcells would have no role in coaching the club but would pick the Falcons' next head coach, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed.

It is not clear whether that would result in the departure of Rich McKay, the Falcons' current president and general manager. McKay would be invited to remain with the organization in some capacity but it's not certain if he would accept the new job, the source said.

Parcells has been out of the league this season, working for ESPN as a studio analyst, after resigning as coach of the Dallas Cowboys following their first-round playoff loss in Seattle last season. When he quit the Cowboys, he indicated he was retiring from coaching. He'd returned to the sideline previously after announcing his retirement, but most observers believed this time that Parcells wouldn't coach again.

It always was clear, however, that he might return to the sport in a front office role. There were reports linking Parcells to the New York Giants' general manager job before that team hired Jerry Reese to replace the retiring Ernie Accorsi. And Parcells has had success as a roster-builder, most recently leaving the Cowboys sufficiently stocked with talent for his successor as coach, Wade Phillips, to have the club in the lead for the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

The Falcons have a record of 3-11 and are still reeling from the legal troubles of quarterback Michael Vick, who's serving a 23-month federal prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation. The team received another jolt last week when first-year coach Bobby Petrino resigned after only 13 games, taking a college job at the University of Arkansas. Veteran NFL assistant Emmitt Thomas was named the Falcons' interim head coach.

By Mark Maske |  December 19, 2007; 8:42 AM ET  | Category:  Falcons
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