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Gregg Williams likely will join Tennessee Titans' staff

The man most responsible for the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal is nearing a return to the NFL.

Gregg Williams is expected to be hired in some capacity by the Tennessee Titans, a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. ESPN first reported the news. The Associated Press reported Sunday morning that the Titans have talked with Williams about a position on their staff.

Williams remains suspended indefinitely by the NFL, but the league allowed him to start pursuing jobs. Williams does not have any meetings scheduled with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yet. Williams must be reinstated by the NFL before he can be hired by any team.

When Williams was suspended indefinitely last year, conventional wisdom said his career could be over. But the NFL fraternity of coaches is tight, and relationships matter. Williams has a prior relationship with Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, who once worked under Williams with the Buffalo Bills. Williams worked for Titans owner Bud Adams from 1997 to 2000 as Jeff Fisher's defensive coordinator. Williams also has a relationship with Titans coach Mike Munchak from that era.

Gray, Adams or Munchak can throw Williams a lifeline at his career's lowest point. The Titans certainly could use the help and Williams has been an effective coordinator throughout most of his career.

This type of move doesn't happen unless team ownership is on board. Adams is choosing to show mercy on one of the NFL's black sheep.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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