New Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has a meeting with Big Tuna Bill Parcells, Tuna Helper Jeff Ireland, and coach Tony Sparano scheduled for Friday. At this gathering Ross expects to ease any fears he plans significant changes from the way former owner Wayne Huizenga did business with his football people.
Ross said: "The three of us are sitting down and letting them know, 'Hey business as usual,' and any questions they might have, especially Jeff and Tony, to make them feel totally comfortable that business will continue the way it has and they're wanted and I have a lot of respect for what they've done."
The hope is Ross continues to make Parcells feel comfortable about staying with Miami beyond the 30-day opt-out period that began Tuesday. During that period, Parcells is able to opt-out while collecting the total remaining salary from his contract, which still has three years remaining and is worth between $9-$12 million.
If Parcells walks, Ross has to write him a check for the entire remaining sum and Parcells can decide to go to the race track, go to work for another team, or simply hang out with his son-in-law Scott Pioli in Kansas City if he wants to -- nothing the Dolphins can do about it.
Parcells has not made a public statement about what he intends to do one way or the other but sources have indicated he wants to stay ... assuming he feels good about Ross.
So today is important.
But thinking about this, I'm of the opinion todayis much more important for Ross than Parcells. Think about what I just wrote. It is more important for Ross, the billionaire owner, to impress and defer to Parcells than vice versa. It is more important for the boss to please his employee than vice versa.
Let's walk this through: Suppose the meeting doesn't go well. Suppose Ross, for whatever reason, gives Parcells the willies and Parcells decides he simply wants his collect his check and check out. Which one becomes the villian? Is it Bill Parcells for leaving or Ross for not moving heaven and earth to make Parcells want to stay?
Ross would be the bad guy.
The fact of the matter is no matter what Parcells does the next 30 days, he wins. If he stays but his team doesn't win big, as we all hope, he's a hero for at least trying to finish what he started. If he stays and wins big, he's a hero for doing something Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and others could not do since the 1984 season.
If Parcells leaves and the Dolphins win big, he's a hero for laying the foundation and bringing the people to Miami that ultimately delivered the big prize. If Parcells leaves and the Dolphins fail to win big, he's a hero for turning things around the one year he was here while his reputation for being the genius behind that improbable great season is heightened because the Dolphins will prove they couldn't do it without him.
In other words, the man who has spent practically his entire adult life trying to win in the NFL finds himself in a no-lose situation now.