Tuna Headed to the Dolphins

Bill Parcells signed a four-year contract with the Miami Dolphins to become the team's executive vice president of football operations on Thursday.

Parcells faxed the contract to the team, less than a day after turning down an offer to join the Atlanta Falcons.

"He has a proven track record of success everywhere he has been in the National Football League," Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said Thursday afternoon. "And his football acumen will help put the Miami Dolphins franchise back among the elite of the NFL."

The two-time Super Bowl champion coach will report directly to Huizenga, whose affinity for big-name help now has led him to Parcells -- a 66-year-old former coach of four NFL clubs who owns a home in South Florida and now has a job there, too.

On Wednesday, the expectation around the league was that Parcells would take over in Atlanta. By the afternoon, however, the deal had fallen apart, and the Dolphins moved quickly to get Parcells to sign a contract.

"I'm honored to join such an illustrious franchise as the Miami Dolphins and to work for one of the best owners in the league in Wayne Huizenga," Parcells said. "He shares my same commitment to winning, and I told him I would do everything I can to help turn around the team's fortunes."

The team made the announcement shortly after the locker room was closed for the day, and roughly 45 minutes after Dolphins coach Cam Cameron sidestepped at least a half-dozen questions about Parcells -- even refusing to say if he's ever met the coach.

"There will potentially be a time to have that discussion," Cameron said. "Today, I don't see it as being that day or this time."

Parcells will be formally introduced next Thursday, the team said.

His arrival has taken nearly all the attention off the Dolphins' game at New England on Sunday. But even as it appeared certain Parcells was coming, players didn't say much on the hot topic.

"The guy's a legend," running back Lorenzo Booker said. "There's no doubt about it. He knows what he's doing. Obviously, his resume is a mile long. But I'm a new guy in this league, so I don't even know what a vice president does, to be honest with you, so I'm waiting to find out as much as you guys."

Televisions were off in the locker room after practice Thursday; that wasn't the case 24 hours earlier, when Parcells' face was splashed across the screens as news broke he was weighing Huizenga's offer.

Few players wanted to speak about Parcells, and those who did generally offered the company line, that the Dolphins are only thinking about Sunday's game at New England.

"Any more questions about New England?" defensive back Jason Allen asked.

Miami started 0-13 before beating Baltimore last weekend. The roster already seemed certain for an offseason overhaul. The Dolphins likely will have the No. 1 pick in next year's draft, and the franchise is in the midst of its longest postseason drought, now six years and counting.

Parcells insisted that he will not coach in Miami -- but could see himself helping the coach, whomever it is.

"It's a young man's game in terms of coaching, and I know it's time for someone else to be doing those things," Parcells said on ESPN. "If I can assist that person in any manner of speaking with my experience or even in the technical aspect and he would seek out that, then I'm happy to contribute."

So now, let the questions begin.

What happens to Cameron?

What happens to general manger Randy Mueller?

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