Parcells will be offered the job today, in the form of a multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract.
Informed sources in the league say that Patriots owner James B. Orthwein and his top aides, Michael O'Hallaron, James Hausmann and Patrick Forte, have come to the conclusion that Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles, is the man to turn around the floundering New England franchise.
This past weekend, at Orthwein's Fort Lauderdale winter home, he and his aides interviewed Parcells, former Bears coach Mike Ditka and former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan. Ryan told friends yesterday that he had not heard back from the Patriots and felt that Parcells was going to get the offer.
Parcells is no lock to accept the job. There could be a lot of give-and-take in negotiations once the offer is handed over to Parcells and his agent, Robert Fraley of Orlando, Fla.
Parcells retired from the Giants in 1991 after winning his second Super Bowl in an eight-year tenure as head coach. In the fall of that year, he joined NBC as both a game and studio TV analyst.
At the end of the 1991 season, he was offered jobs by both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. Parcells came close to taking each one but backed away when his health became the determining factor.