According to Ian Rapoport and Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network, the Carolina Panthers have extended head coach Ron Rivera’s contract to a two-year, $15.5 million deal. Rivera is receiving the vote of confidence just a day before taking on the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card game. Rivera’s success with the Panthers include a 64-47-1 record, three playoff berths, including a trip to the Super Bowl, but loss to the Denver Broncos, in 2015.
Carolina Panthers Extend Head Coach Ron Rivera’s Contract
Rumours began Friday evening that the Panthers were looking to extend the contract of head coach Ron Rivera. Saturday morning those reports came to fruition when Rivera’s contract was extended two years for $15.5 million dollars.
The 2017 Panthers, only a game out of owning the NFC South, will be playing as a wild card team against the Saints tomorrow in New Orleans. The 11-5 Panthers are a team bouncing back from a disappointing 2016 ‘Super Bowl hangover’ season which they went 6-10, the lowest mark since Rivera took over the team in 2011.
Rivera has gone 64-47-1 since 2011 with quarterback Cam Newton at the helm and often owning a strong defense with linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. The relationship between Rivera and Newton, while not strained, has often been a talking point due to the overt emotion displayed from Newton. No matter, Rivera has been able to mold a successful team and make the playoff in four of his seven seasons.
The contract extension to Rivera not only comes amidst a playoff berth, but also controversy with owner Jerry Richardson putting the team up for sale. Richardson came under scrutiny due to claims of sexual harassment and racist statements. Subsequently in late December, the team was slotted to move to new ownership.
Although the ownership will change, Rivera’s tenured defense and intricate offensive evolutions will be a mainstay in Carolina for at least two more years.