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Parcells tells Saints to find another coach

Bill Parcells has decided that Sainthood is not for him.

The iconic coach reportedly has informed the Saints that he will not replace Sean Payton as interim coach in New Orleans. and ESPN are reporting that Parcells has decided to remain retired.

Parcells' friend and protege Payton had his year-long suspension upheld Monday. It's unclear if the Saints officially offered Parcells the job or if he removed his name from consideration.

Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, declined comment.

Payton, Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt all had their suspensions upheld under appeal for their "continuing violations of the league's anti-bounty rule that endangered player safety over a three-year period." Payton's suspension will begin April 16. Vitt's will not begin until the end of the preseason, which makes him a possible candidate to fill the job as interim coach.

Vitt would be able to coach through the offseason programs and preseason, miss the first six games, and then return to coach the final 10 (plus the playoffs if the Saints make it). There are several candidates on the Saints' staff to become the interim-interim coach in Vitt's absence: defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

If the Saints promote someone from their own staff to fill the vacancies, they do not have to comply with the Rooney Rule and interview a minority candidate.

Parcells turns 71 in August.


Around the league

*Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, who turns 33 in May, signed a contract extension that will likely keep him in Carolina at least through 2015. A source told the Associated Press that Smith will earn approximately $18 million in guaranteed money over the next three seasons. There is also a club option for 2016.

*Pittsburgh signed veteran tight end Leonard Pope, 28, to a one-year contract. He spent the previous three seasons with Kansas City.

*Reebok has scrapped plans to sell New York Jets Tim Tebow apparel, agreeing to rid stores of thousands of jerseys and T-shirts it stamped with the quarterback's name after he was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Jets last month. Nike Inc. sued Reebok International Ltd. two weeks ago, saying the rival apparel maker was trying to squeeze the most out of the end of its 10-year NFL apparel licensing deal by stamping Tebow's name on jerseys and T-shirts even though Nike was about to begin a five-year NFL contract of its own.