Contract feud of Parcells may turn ugly, report says Agent: Owner to demand compensation for coach; SUPER BOWL XXXI

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW ORLEANS -- Bill Parcells will coach his final game for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, but what happens next may turn into an ugly situation between him and owner Bob Kraft concerning his contract.

Sources confirmed last night that Parcells will not return to the Patriots next season because of a continuing deterioration of relations with Kraft, the latest situation involving his contract.

Robert Fraley, the agent for Parcells, said last night that Kraft has informed him that he will seek compensation from any NFL team that attempts to sign Parcells.

However, Fraley said that there is no provision in the contract that would call for any compensation.

Kraft reportedly said that certain language in the contract allows him to have first dibs on Parcells and that he can require him to coach the Patriots in '97 for a salary of $1.3 million.

The situation may end up in court.

Here's how the contract situation developed:

In the midst of a 6-10 1995 season, Parcells and Kraft started having problems dealing with one another. Kraft wanted to take away some power. At the end of the 1995 season, they worked out a deal.

At the time, Kraft owed Parcells $300,000 involving the rights to the clothing Parcells and his staff wear. In an amendment to the original contract, Parcells forgave the $300,000.

In return, he thought he was buying out the 1997 season.

However, in the latter part of the season, he decided he might want to continue to coach.

Parcells has told friends he was going to try to work out a deal to stay for three more years until he realized he had been had by Kraft for the $300,000 and that it was unlikely he could trust Kraft.

Pub Date: 1/20/97

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