As creative as it was, everyone saw through this deal. Heck, Stevie Wonder could see what the Jets were doing. They were naming Bill Parcells as the de facto coach while not making him the official coach. Everyone knew this was going to get ugly between the two teams.
Robert Kraft also saw through it, and rightfully so. The Jets were using creative language to get around the issue, so Kraft immediately went back to the league to have them rule that Parcells could not work for the Jets in any capacity in 1997.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue finally had enough and scheduled a meeting between the two teams. He basically told New England that they knew Parcells would be with the Jets in some capacity, and told the Jets they knew they wanted him to coach the team. Couldn’t the two teams get together on some kind of deal to end this fight already? Was it this worth it to Kraft to block Parcells from working for the Jets at all?
Finally, the two teams left the meeting with a deal in place sending draft picks to the Patriots, in return for his release from his contract and therefore permission to coach the Jets.
The rest, as all Jets fans know, is history. From Belichick, to Brady, to Mangini…etc. The rivalry lives on, and is one of sports fiercest rivalries. Fifteen years ago, it began.
This was: A look back.