If they couldn’t get him as coach, the New York Jets got Bill Parcells as a consultant - a contractual end run that the New England Patriots decried as a “transparent farce” and vowed to challenge.
Under the Jets’ plan, longtime Parcells aide Bill Belichick fills in as coach until Parcells takes over as coach and chief of football operations at midnight on Feb. 1, 1998.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue already has forbidden the Jets from offering Parcells a football job in 1997 without the Patriots’ permission. The Patriots had been asking for the Jets’ No. 1 pick in April’s NFL draft as compensation.
“This so-called consulting agreement is a transparent farce,” the Patriots said in a statement.
Parcells insisted, however, the position would be a matter of advice, and therefore not a violation of his Patriots’ contract.
“I am not under any illusions on that, and I will not have any final decisions on personnel,” Parcells said via telephone at a crowded news conference.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.