Panthers, Ron Rivera Discussing Extension

Following a season in which he led the Panthers to a 15-1 regular-season record and an appearance in the Super Bowl, head coach Ron Rivera appears to be in line for a raise. According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have reached out to Rivera to start working on a contract extension.Ron Rivera

Rivera, who succeeded John Fox as the Panthers’ head coach in 2011, has posted a sub-.500 record in three of his five seasons with the team. However, his overall regular-season mark in Carolina is 47-32-1, and the team has won the NFC South three times in a row, earning the division title in 2014 despite a 7-8-1 record.

Following a 2013 campaign that saw the Panthers finish 12-4 and earned Rivera AP Coach of the Year honors, Carolina locked up the coach to a three-year extension believed to be worth north of $4MM per season. The deal keeps Rivera under contract through 2017, but after this year’s NFC championship, the Panthers would like to extend the relationship beyond that, and give their head coach another raise.

In spite of the Panthers’ 2015 success, Rivera will benefit from keeping both his offensive and defensive coordinators for at least one more year. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott interviewed for the Browns’ and Buccaneers’ head coaching jobs, while offensive coordinator Mike Shula turned down at least one opportunity to interview for a head coaching position, a source tells Person.

Rivera is the second NFC South coach rumored this week to be working on a deal. Sean Payton suggested on Thursday that he’s moving closer to an extension with the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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