The Saints will have to go in a different direction to replace the suspended Sean Payton after retired coach Bill Parcells reportedly turned down the team.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted early Tuesday morning that Parcells will remain retired.
Officials with the Saints haven’t returned messages left with the team.
The Saints began feeling out Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach and one-time runner up, the last week of March during the owners meetings in south Florida.
But on Monday, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld his original ruling after Payton appealed his year-long suspension, the New York Daily News reported that Parcells hadn’t heard from the Saints in six days.
New Orleans now likely will look within to fill in for Payton.
Assistant head coach Joe Vitt could be a candidate as he took over part of the duties this past fall when Payton was sidelined by his knee injury. However, Vitt will be serving a six-game suspension beginning when the preseason ends after Goodell denied the coach’s appeal.
Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. took over play-calling duties for Payton after the October Tampa Bay game when the head coach had his knee taken out from under him.
In his first game as sole play-caller, the Saints scored a season-high 62 points in a 55-point win over Indianapolis. Carmichael, who has an extensive history with quarterback Drew Brees, interviewed for head coaching jobs this offseason and is considered an up-and-coming coach.
Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has been with the team since 2008. He took over coaching the line in 2009 and in that first season, three linemen were named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl team. The Saints ranked sixth in the league in rushing and the unit gave up only 20 sacks, fourth-lowest in the NFL that season.
Meanwhile, first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also would be an internal candidate. He was the head coach in St. Louis the past three seasons.
Kromer also interviewed for a head-coaching position this offseason