ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The St. Petersburg Times reported Friday there are signs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a tentative agreement with Bill Parcells to succeed Tony Dungy as coach if the team loses in the wild card round to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Parcells, a Hall of Fame candidate, is expected to sign a five-year contract that would make him the NFL's highest paid coach, according to the newspaper.
"We have a longstanding policy of not responding to rumors or speculation," Bucs public relations director Reggie Roberts told the Times.
Rumors were rampant during last season's Super Bowl at Tampa that Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer was pursuing Parcells. That likely cost Parcells a Hall of Fame election since committee members expected him to return to coaching.
However, Glazer decided to stick with Dungy for another season, although he refused to give him a contract extension, and the Bucs qualified as the final NFC wild card with a 9-7 record. That will likely not be enough for Dungy to retain his job if the Buccaneers lose to the Eagles on Saturday.
A win Saturday would mean a trip to St. Louis (14-2) for the divisional playoff the following weekend.
Dungy has led Tampa Bay to the playoffs four of the last five seasons, but the Bucs reached the NFC title game just once in 1999. He has a 54-42 career record in six years as coach.
The 60-year-old Parcells coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990 and also guided the New England Patriots to a trip to the Super Bowl in 1996. He announced his retirement as coach of the New York Jets in 1999 and resigned as director of football operations last season.