Bill Parcells could become the Atlanta Falcons' vice president of football operations, a role that would put him in charge of finding the team's next coach.
Parcells is considering an offer to join the team's front office, a person familiar with the negotiations said on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing.
The New York Daily News reported today that Parcells is on the verge of accepting the job, with only a few minor details to be worked out. In a story on its Web site, the paper said a deal could be completed later in the day with Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
"I think I probably will do it," Parcells said. "The job description is to be the football operations overseer. We still have a little work to do, but I don't think it's anything major. I don't expect any real deal-breaker. I don't think there will be any major hangups."
Parcells said he would not be the Falcons' head coach. He told the newspaper he would plan to hire a general manager and then work with that person to hire a new coach to replace Bobby Petrino, who quit last week 13 games into his first season to coach at Arkansas.
The offer was first reported by ESPN.com.
Rich McKay, the team's president and general manager since December 2003, did not immediately return a phone message on Tuesday night. Blank declined comment when asked about Parcells late Tuesday night.
Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
Emmitt Thomas is 0-1 as Atlanta's interim head coach, a job he inherited when Bobby Petrino resigned suddenly a week ago. Petrino went 3-10 with the Falcons before taking the Arkansas job.
Parcells resigned in January after four years as the Dallas coach. During a 19-year career that also included coaching the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets, Parcells made it to three Super Bowls, winning twice with the Giants.
Known best for a gruff demeanor and colorful quotes, Parcells left coaching with the ninth-most wins in NFL history and a career record of 183-138-1. He was 34-32 in Dallas, including 0-2 in the postseason.
"I am in good health and feel lucky to have been able to coach in the NFL for an extended period of time," Parcells said when he left the Cowboys. "I leave the game and the NFL with nothing but good feelings and gratitude to all the players, coaches and other people that have assisted me in that regard."
McKay's future with the Falcons is uncertain. He came to Atlanta with impressive credentials, mentioned as a potential candidate to replace former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and considered a successful GM who helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win their only Super Bowl in 2003.
In 1996, before the Bucs hired Tony Dungy as a first-time NFL head coach, Tampa Bay owner Malcolm Glazer considered bringing Parcells aboard. McKay, however, told the Glazer family that he would resign if Parcells took the job.
With the Falcons, McKay recommended that Blank hire Jim Mora, whose fiery demeanor led to his firing last January despite a 26-22 record, and Petrino, who abruptly left the team to return to college last week.
Under McKay and Mora, Atlanta advanced to the NFC title game in the 2004 season, but the Falcons have gone 18-28 while missing the playoffs for three straight years.
Atlanta, which has never had consecutive winning seasons in its 42-year history, played before many empty seats at the Georgia Dome this season.
A federal indictment of three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick led to a 23-month prison sentence imposed last week.
Blank, a co-founder and former CEO of The Home Depot, paid $545 million for the Falcons in a deal that closed in February 2002.
Report: Parcells 'probably' will join Falcons