New York — New England Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini has accepted an offer to become the next New York Jets coach, a person familiar with the situation said Monday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made by the team.
Mangini, who turns 35 Thursday, becomes the youngest head coach in the NFL. He replaces Herman Edwards, who left for Kansas City after five seasons.
ESPN.com first reported Mangini had accepted the Jets' offer.
The Jets moved quickly after interviewing former Vikings coach Mike Tice earlier in the day.
Mangini, who has spent nearly his entire career working for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, emerged as the leading candidate for the Jets last week. Though he is young, he is regarded as one of the brightest defensive minds in the game.
Dungy makes decision
Indianapolis - Tony Dungy plans to return as Colts coach but left open the possibility of retirement following a season marked by the death of his 18-year-old son. "I really don't know how I'll react the next few days," he said Monday, a day after the Colts were eliminated from the playoffs. "I think I'll be back. But it will really be the first time I've had to think about it." In October, Dungy signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the Colts through 2009.
League: Call was judgment
New York - Referee Pete Morelli's decision to overturn an apparent interception by Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu late in the Steelers game Sunday in Indianapolis was a judgment call, the NFL said Monday.
It came with 5:26 left in Pittsburgh's 21-18 victory over the Colts. Polamalu made a diving catch. When he got up to run, he fumbled the ball, then recovered. Colts coach Tony Dungy challenged, and Morelli ruled Polamalu had not completed the catch, so it was an incomplete pass. About a dozen TV and scoreboard replays indicated otherwise.
"The issue was whether he had possession. The ball came loose when he was getting up. Pete Morelli determined it wasn't a catch," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "That was his judgment."
Raiders interview Marinelli
Alameda, Calif. - The Oakland Raiders interviewed Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli on Monday, the third candidate brought in to discuss the team's coaching vacancy. Marinelli just completed his 10th season as assistant head coach and D-line coach for the Bucs. His unit helped establish an NFL record with 69 straight games with at least one sack from 1999-2003.
Foster out for Panthers
Charlotte, N.C. - DeShaun Foster eventually will be OK. But Monday, Carolina's featured running back still was dealing with the emotions of yet another season-ending injury. Foster broke his fibula when he was tackled in the third quarter of Sunday's NFC divisional playoff victory over Chicago. He'll need surgery to repair it, but will hold off on the procedure so he can accompany the team to Seattle and play cheerleader during the NFC championship game.
The job will go to Nick Goings, who finished the regular season with 37 carries for 133 yards.
Alexander thinks he'll play
Kirkland, Wash. - Shaun Alexander expects to be more than a cheerleader in the NFC championship game. Two days after a concussion knocked him out of Seattle's playoff victory over Washington, a smiling Alexander was looking and feeling better, talking optimistically about being ready to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He said he had not had any lingering symptoms from the blow he took while two Redskins tackled him 101â2 minutes into Saturday's game.
Packers' Bates steps down
Green Bay, Wis. - Jim Bates stepped down as Packers defensive coordinator Monday after getting passed over for the head-coaching-job. Bates decided to leave after several discussions with new coach Mike McCarthy.
Perez, Pirates agree
Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Oliver Perez bypassed salary arbitration Monday by agreeing to a one-year contract worth approximately $1.9 million.
The 24-year-old Perez made $381,000 while going 7-5 with a 5.85 earned-run average last season, when he was sidelined for nearly two months because of a broken toe after he kicked a laundry cart in frustration following a June 26 start in St. Louis.
Jays ink Overbay, Downs
Toronto - The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to one-year contracts with new first baseman Lyle Overbay and pitcher Scott Downs on Monday, avoiding salary arbitration with both players. Overbay's deal is for $2,525,000. He batted .276 with 19 home runs, 72 RBIs and 34 doubles for Milwaukee last season. Downs will earn $705,000 this year.
Angels re-sign Lackey
Anaheim, Calif. - John Lackey agreed to a $3.76 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, bypassing salary arbitration. The 27-year-old right-hander went 14-5 with one complete game in 33 starts for the Angels last year. He led the team's starters with a 3.44 ERA and 199 strikeouts.
Willis avoids arbitration
Miami - Dontrelle Willis avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a $4.35 million, one-year contract Monday with the Florida Marlins. Willis went 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA last season and finished second to St. Louis' Chris Carpenter in NL Cy Young Award balloting. He gets a large raise from the $378,500 he made in 2005.
Barajas gets new deal
Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers and catcher Rod Barajas agreed to a $3.2 million, one-year contract Monday, avoiding salary arbitration. Barajas set career highs in batting average (.254), home runs (21) and RBIs (60) in 2005, his first full season as a starter.
Cardinals sign Nelson
St. Louis - Relief pitcher Jeff Nelson agreed to a minor-league contract Monday with the St. Louis Cardinals, who need a middle man to replace injured Al Reyes.
Kearns, Reds agree
Cincinnati - Austin Kearns avoided salary arbitration with the Cincinnati Reds by agreeing to a $1.85 million, one-year contract Monday. The outfielder batted .240 last season, but set career highs with 18 homers and 67 RBIs.
Rays sign Hendrickson
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Left-hander Mark Hendrickson agreed to a $1.95 million, one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday, avoiding arbitration. The 6-foot-9 Hendrickson was 11-8 with a 5.90 ERA in 1781â3 innings for Tampa Bay last season, when he made $377,500.
Astros extend Everett pact
Houston - The Astros and slick-fielding shortstop Adam Everett avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.9 million, one-year contract Monday. Everett hit .248 with a career-best 11 home runs and 54 RBIs last season.
Rodriguez off initial roster
New York - Alex Rodriguez was missing from the initial United States roster for the World Baseball Classic on Monday night, and the two-time MVP had one day left to decide whether to participate. As expected, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. were the biggest names among the 42 players picked by Team USA on Monday.
Francis' suspension ended
Orlando, Fla. - Steve Francis was reinstated by the Orlando Magic on Monday, three days after he was suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team." Francis, who missed two games, met with team officials Monday. Citing anonymous sources, two newspapers reported Francis was suspended for refusing to re-enter the fourth quarter of a blowout loss last week.
GWU, BYU enter poll
Make it a double for George Washington basketball. The Colonials joined the Associated Press women's basketball poll at No. 25 on Monday as one of two newcomers, putting both the school's teams in the Top 25. The men, now 16th, have been ranked all season. BYU was the other newcomer in the poll, which had Tennessee leading a top four that was unchanged. The Cougars (13-1), off to their best start ever, broke in at No. 23.
Federer advances; Venus out
Melbourne, Australia - Top-ranked Roger Federer dispatched wild-card entry Denis Istomin in the first round of the Australian Open today, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
French women Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo also advanced today, but Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, seeded 10th, sprayed 65 unforced errors Monday in her 2-6, 6-0, 9-7 first-round loss to Bulgaria's Tszvetana Pironkova.
Defending champion Serena Williams got a bit of a scare in the second set before dispatching 52nd-ranked Li Na of China, 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-2.