Worst decision: Lions defensive end Robert Porcher, who will be 31 at the start of the 2000 season, turned down a five-year, $35 million offer by Detroit The contract included a $13 million signing bonus. Not bad for a guy who averaged a good but not great 12.25 sacks a year over the past four seasons. The Lions slapped the franchise tag on Porcher, fixing his salary next season at $4.2 million unless the sides can agree on a long-term deal or he signs with another team willing to give up steep compensation.
Parcells Family Ties
A Change In Allegiance
The latest episode in the Jets-Patriots soap opera provided the oddest transaction of last week: New York pro personnel director Scott Pioli, 34, left the club to become New England's assistant director of player personnel. He is also married to one of the daughters of Jets director of football operations Bill Parcells.
Pioli will head up pro scouting for the Patriots and have a say in the draft, which he never had in his three seasons with the Jets. Bill Belichick, the longtime Parcells aide who last month backed out of his commitment to succeed Parcells as Jets coach and became the Patriots' head man, had brought Pioli, his trusted former Browns scout, to New York in February 1997. Pioli met Dallas Parcells, a marketing executive, at the Jets' offices the following May. They were married last June.
Belichick called Parcells last week to ask permission to hire Pioli, who was under contract until May. After first denying the request, Parcells reconsidered. He knew Pioli would be improving his position in New England. He also knew Pioli's future with the Jets would depend on whom new owner Robert Wood Johnson IV brings in to replace Parcells, who has indicated he won't remain with the organization long-term. "I don't want to get too gushy about Bill, but I've learned a ton of lessons from him in the past three years," says Pioli, "and now he's taught me another one."