Payton, Parcells meet for golf, discuss possible Saints role

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton met with Bill Parcells on Tuesday, and the two spoke about a possible role for the retired coach during Payton's upcoming one-year suspension from the league, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, La Canfora reported that no decision about hiring Parcells is imminent.

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"We played golf," Parcells confirmed to the New York Daily News. "We really didn't talk about the job. They told me they would be in touch."

Payton, whose suspension for his involvement in the team's "bounty" scandal is scheduled to begin Sunday, told that the golf outing took place during a break from the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla. The Daily News reported that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and vice president of communications Greg Bensel also were present.

"There's really nothing new to date," Payton told "More than anything, we just played golf. It was a great chance to visit with him and see how he's doing."

Payton said it was premature to assume any job offer was in the offing for Parcells, who'll turn 71 in August and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist.

"This is something involving Mickey and our owner (Tom Benson)," Payton said. "Certainly for a guy like Bill, if this is a possibility down the road, he would want to know all the specifics. But we haven't gotten to that stage at all.

"He is someone that I would look up and visit and go play golf with regardless if I were here at the meetings. Talking with him is very normal. He's someone that I talk to frequently about football matters."

Parcells lives in Jupiter, Fla., about 20 minutes from the site of the meeting. Payton worked on Parcells' Dallas Cowboys staff from 2003 to 2005.

Should he decide not to appeal his suspension, Payton said assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who's suspended for the first six games of the 2012 season for his role in the scandal, likely would lead the team on a temporary basis. Vitt's suspension wouldn't begin until just before the start of the regular season.

If the Saints decide to hire an interim coach from outside the organization, such as Parcells, they would have to interview at least one minority candidate to comply with the league's Rooney Rule. Also, Parcells would have to wait another five years for Hall of Fame eligibility should he return to coaching.

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