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Monday, December 29, 2008
Playoff-bound Huizenga hoped for .500


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Not even the Miami Dolphins' biggest fan could fathom the playoffs, much less a division title.

"I thought if we did 8-8 this year, we would have done well," Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said Sunday after his team beat the New York Jets, 24-17, at the Meadowlands to claim the AFC East crown. "I was trying to be realistic. This is unbelievable."

Huizenga stopped briefly to speak with the South Florida media outside the Dolphins' locker room and also addressed ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen's story that Dolphins football operations boss Bill Parcells could leave the team.

Mortensen reported Parcells has a walkout option in his contract if Huizenga sells the team. Huizenga is selling 95 percent of the Dolphins and their stadium to real-estate developer Stephen Ross. The sale is pending league approval, but it should be finalized next month.

The clause states Parcells would answer only to Huizenga, and if ownership were to change, then Parcells would get a one-time option to bolt. If Parcells chooses to leave, the Dolphins still would have to pay him $12 million.

"You know about the clause he has in his contract," Huizenga said. "Now he has to decide what he wants to do. He's done a fantastic job. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Bill and the people he brought in and the people they brought in. So I give those people all the credit in the world."

Huizenga was asked if he has spoken to Parcells about the situation.

"It's out of my hands," Huizenga said. "I've told him he ought to stick around. I don't know what he's going to do."

Mortensen, citing unnamed league sources, noted the Jets, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders were "on Parcells' radar."