Looks like the Saints will have to keep looking for a coach for next season.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Bill Parcells will not coach New Orleans in the place of Sean Payton in 2012. On Tuesday, Mortensen tweeted:
Bill Parcells is certain to remain retired and not serve as the Saints' interim head coach, per sources. More coming on ESPN.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 10, 2012
UPDATE: Tuesday, April 10, 2:04 p.m. ET: With Parcells out of the running, it looks like there's a new favorite to take the job in New Orleans. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted on Tuesday afternoon:
And now, it's looking more and more like Saints asst HC Joe Vitt is a favorite to become New Orleans' interim HC.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2012
Vitt has been a member of the Saints coaching staff since 2006 and served in a head coaching capacity during the 2011 season while Payton recovered from a broken leg.
He will likely assume head coaching duties in 2012 once he serves a six-game suspension related to the Saints' bounty scandal.
The Saints were heavily penalized last month after the NFL discovered that they had a bounty program in place that paid players cash for knocking targeted opposing players out of games. This week, Payton appealed his one-year suspension from the league, but commissioner Roger Goodell rejected it.
Ever since Payton's punishment was handed down, rumors have circulated about the possibility of Parcells filling his shoes. Payton coached on Parcell's staff in Dallas for three years, and during that time the two developed a close relationship. As a result, many expected Parcells to come out of retirement and step in for his friend.
On Monday, the New York Daily News' Gary Myers texted Parcells to ask whether he wanted to coach again and whether the Saints wanted him to step in.
Parcells responded via text, "Do not know answer to either question."
What It Means
The Saints are still in need of a head coach for the 2012 season now that it appears the league isn't backing down on its sanctions. Payton's suspension was intended to begin on April 1, but after the appeal, the start date will be pushed back to Monday, April 16.
What Comes Next
The Daily News reported that the Saints are expected to make a head coaching decision before Payton's ban goes into effect and he is banned from team facilities. When making their hire, the Saints will either have to promote from within or comply with the Rooney Rule, which mandates that they interview a minority candidate.