FILE - This Sept. 18, 2011 file photo, Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (89) catches a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Charlotte, N.C. A person familiar with the situation says Panthers five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith has agreed to a contract extension that will likely keep him with Carolina for the remainder of his NFL career. The new contract runs through the 2015 season, the person told The Associated Press Tuesday, April 10, 2012, on condition of anonymity because the team has not yet announced the deal. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
NEW ORLEANS — Multiple media reports citing unidentified sources say Bill Parcells is unlikely to become the Saints interim coach.
The reports say Parcells prefers to remain retired and not replace longtime friend Sean Payton, who will serve a season-long suspension for his role in New Orleans’ bounty system.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel declined Tuesday to confirm Parcells has been ruled out as a possible Payton replacement, saying the team “has nothing to report” concerning the search for an interim coach.
Parcells’ agent Jimmy Sexton declined to comment.
If the Saints decide to select a replacement from their existing staff, the leading contenders are: assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who will serve a six-game suspension; offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.; offensive line coach Aaron Kromer; new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.