American football: Parcells can coach Jets

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The Independent Online
Bill Parcells can begin coaching the New York Jets immediately after Paul Tagliabue, the NFL commissioner, brokered a deal on Monday between the Jets and New England Patriots, who he left last month after taking them to the Super Bowl.

After more than six hours of meetings with Leon Hess, the Jets owner, and Bob Kraft, the Patriots owner, Tagliabue announced a resolution to the coaching controversy that he declared would make fans of both the Patriots and Jets happy.

The Jets will give up four draft picks over three years to New England for the right to have Parcells on the sidelines for the 1997 season. But they did not have to relinquish this year's number one overall pick, which Kraft had demanded.

The Patriots will receive the Jets' third and fourth round draft picks this year, the second round pick in 1998 and a first round selection in 1999.

The Jets also agreed to donate $300,000 (almost pounds 185,000) to the Patriots' charitable foundation.

Both sides agreed to allow Tagliabue to determine the compensation package after failing to reach an agreement.

Last Wednesday the Jets attempted to sidestep demands for compensation by naming Parcells a consultant for the 1997 season with the understanding that he would take over the team in 1998.

They named Parcells' long-time right-hand man, Bill Belichick, head coach for 1997, with a job as assistant to Parcells beginning in 1998. Kraft labelled the consultant job "a transparent farce" and formally asked Tagliabue to step in.