NFL Owners Approve Jets' Sale
Jan. 18, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the New York Jets today to pharmaceutical company heir Robert Wood Johnson IV.
Johnson's bid of $635 million was chosen by the NFL finance committee last week over a similar offer from Cablevision founder and chairman Charles Dolan.
The sale had to be confirmed by the full owners meeting with Johnson requiring 24 of 31 votes.
Johnson's first order of business will be to address the team's head coaching situation. Bill Parcells resigned as coach after three seasons on Jan. 3, turning the team over to defensive coordinator Bill Belichick. Parcells said he would remain with the organization as a consultant.
But Belichick stunned the Jets a day later by turning the job down, saying he was uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the ownership situation. He then filed a grievance with the NFL, seeking to be let out of the remaining three years on his contract amid speculation that he had more lucrative offers, perhaps as coach-GM, from other teams such as the New England Patritots.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue conducted a six-hour hearing on the matter last week and said he would issue a decision after Johnson was approved as the Jets' new owner. That ruling could come as early as Wednesday, now that Johnson's purchase is official.
Parcells met for five hours with Johnson last week but there are indications that the coach is not interested in returning to the sidelines and would prefer that the Jets promote one of his other assistants, perhaps linebackers coach Al Groh, to the head job.
Meanwhile, The Star-Ledger of New Jersey reported that Parcells recently contacted former Washington general manager Charley Casserly to see if he is interested in joining the organization. Casserly was fired last year after Daniel Snyder bought the Redskins.