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Updated: April 4th, 2012 8:29am
Source: Vikings did approach Bill Parcells about job, but not recently

Source: Vikings did approach Bill Parcells about job, but not recently

by Tom Pelissero
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It appears Bill Parcells' quest to leverage the best offer out of the New Orleans Saints has dragged the Minnesota Vikings into the situation.

The Vikings did approach Bill Parcells about running their football operation, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday, but those conversations happened a long time ago and there has been no recent contact between the sides.

The New York Post reported early Wednesday that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is "putting the hard sell" on Parcells to come in and run the team's football operation, believing he's an upgrade over coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman.

Parcells reportedly was having dinner recently with Saints coach Sean Payton and other friends in New Orleans when he "revealed Wilf's offer to 'name his price' to both oversee the Vikings' football operations and coach the team," but he has reservations about taking such a job at age 70.

Bob Hagan, the Vikings' public relations director, issued a statement late Wednesday morning saying, "There is no truth to the media reports."

The Wilfs' interest in Parcells isn't exactly breaking news. They're from New Jersey and have long admired Parcells' work with the New York Giants, whom he led to Super Bowls after the 1986 and 1990 seasons.

The conversation about Parcells taking over the Vikings' football operation may have happened after the tumultuous 2010 season in which coach Brad Childress was fired, or perhaps even during a 3-13 season in 2011 while the Wilfs were mulling the idea of restructuring the front office with Spielman as GM.

The timing of Wednesday's revelation in the Post -- three months after Spielman's promotion to GM and in the middle of Parcells' reported negotiations to become the Saints' interim coach during Payton's one-year suspension -- makes this seem like nothing more than a leverage ploy.

Besides, why would Parcells want to move to Minnesota and take over a rebuilding operation as his 71st birthday approaches, rather than taking a one-off shot to win a third title with the Super Bowl-ready Saints?

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier