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The Arizona Cardinals and Dennis Green have reached an agreement in principle to make him the Cardinals' next head coach, ESPN.com has learned.

Green, who spent 10 seasons as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, will receive a four-year deal for more than $10 million.

As reported by ESPN.com on Tuesday, Green and Cardinals officials met in San Diego for a follow-up interview after first meeting last Wednesday at the team's complex. A few hours later, after team officials returned to Phoenix to brief owner Bill Bidwill, the Cardinals made Green an offer.

Both parties were interested in striking a deal that would end Green's two-year absence from the league (he's been an ESPN studio analyst the last two years). Green has had the support, from the outset of the courtship, of Arizona's vice president of football operations Rod Graves. He then gained favor with vice president Michael Bidwill, the owner's son.

It is believed Green will have considerable control over football operations. Green also was interviewed by the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, but the Redskins and Joe Gibbs have an agreement and sources close to Green said Tuesday night he believes the Raiders situation could be "treacherous," even given the coach's long and close relationship with owner Al Davis.

Said one source: "Denny really believes he can get that thing [in Arizona] turned around. If he can get himself a quarterback, and they'll be in position to draft somebody like [Eli] Manning, they could win in a couple years."

The Cardinals, who will move into a new stadium in two years, need a head coach with a track record of success to energize their pitifully small fan base.

Other candidates for the Arizona job were former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, a one-time Cardinals offensive coordinator, and current NFL defensive coordinators Jim Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles and Romeo Crennel of the New England Patriots.

Sources said that, during Tuesday's interview with Green, the Cardinals asked him what they called "tough questions," including queries about past off-field incidents. Green is said to have been candid and, for the second time, very impressive in expressing to officials his on-field and personnel philosophies.

Green was 101-70 during his 10 seasons with the Vikings and went to the playoffs eight times.

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Welcome to football obivilon Dennis Green, he will learn soon that no light can escape this pit of losing known as the NFL Cardinals with the Bidwell family.

If he gets them into the playoffs just once he will be a success.

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It's good to see the Cardinals hired a competent coach. But I wonder if the NFL will start fining teams that have not considered minority candidates. The Redskins dropped a bomb on everyone with the hiring of Joe Gibbs. Remember the problems of last year when Matt Millen hired Steve Mariucci? I know the Giants and Bears supposedly asked permission to speak with Romeo Crinnell, but will we see the Redskins being fined? What about the Bills?
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That NFL minority rule is a joke. All it does is make teams interview token candidates. And i don't think NFL teams should be told who they can or can't interview or hire. Your putting hundreds of millions of dollars into a Head Coaches hands... you should be able to hire whoever you want.

That being said, i really like this move by the Cardinals. I think Denis Green is one of the greatest coaches in recent NFL history, and also he is a great personel man, and with the Cardinals giving him personel power, i think the Cardinals have a shot, in a few years, to do something.

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It's good to see the Cardinals hired a competent coach. But I wonder if the NFL will start fining teams that have not considered minority candidates. The Redskins dropped a bomb on everyone with the hiring of Joe Gibbs. Remember the problems of last year when Matt Millen hired Steve Mariucci? I know the Giants and Bears supposedly asked permission to speak with Romeo Crinnell, but will we see the Redskins being fined? What about the Bills?

The Redskins interviewed Green. Probably only to get past the minority hiring rules but hey! Crenell and Lovie Smith are still possible appointees for the Falcons, Bears or Raiders, maybe Bills (although it seems to me that that is whre Jim Fassell is bound). That would be 3 of 7 new coaches for 2004 who were minorities! I think minority hiring is getting much much better than it was a few years ago, particularly at the lower levels. There seem to be far more black co-ordinators for instance.

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