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SAINTS HIRE MUELLER, COULD HASLETT BE NEXT?

The job of finding a replacement for Mike Ditka as coach of the New Orleans Saints belongs to Randy Mueller, 38, who was hired to become the team's general manager. Mueller was vice president of football operations for the Seattle Seahawks.

Thursday's hiring is believed to increase the chances of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, the former Buffalo Bills linebacker, landing the head coaching job in New Orleans. Haslett, a former Saints assistant, has been a close friend of Mueller's since Haslett and Mueller's brother, Rick, coached together in the Canadian Football League in the early 1990s.

In other NFL news:

Carolina linebacker Kevin Greene, whose 160 career sacks rank him third in NFL history, officially retired, saying "it's time to get off the train."

Coach Jim Fassel received a one-year contract extension that will keep him with the New York Giants through 2001.

Carolina's Muhsin Muhammad, who caught an NFC-leading 96 passes, has signed a five-year deal with the Panthers worth a reported $22.5 million.

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