According to numerous executives and agents who will be involved in the upcoming coaching searches, Jason La Canfora notes that recently fired Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will have a robust market of suitors in 2020, and could be in position to choose between several options for next season.
Despite this, however, sources who know Rivera tell La Canfora that the two positions that would most closely appeal to Rivera on a personal level would be the Chargers, with a chance to return to his Southern California roots, or the Bears, where he played and coached, may not be available. While those teams have sputtered badly at times this season, it’s nowhere close to certain either of those jobs will be opening up any time soon. Coming in to today, the Chargers are 4-8 and are in last place in the AFC West, while the Bears are 7-6 in a competitive NFC North that has them in third place.
La Canfora notes that Rivera also has strong ties to Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and some members of that staff, and if the Giants make a coaching change it is expected they will pursue candidates who have a proven history of winning as a head coach. The Falcons, with an aging but talented core, may prize experience as well, with owner Arthur Blank not inclined or positioned to do a rebuild, and with Blank’s recent hires coming with no previous head coaching experience. According to La Canfora, some NFL executives believe Rivera would be a fit with the Cowboys as well, although it remains to be seen if Rivera would be able to mesh with owner Jerry Jones, who is known to be heavily involved with personnel and other decisions.
Rivera has made it clear by his recent comments that he plans to continue coaching, and is excited to start a new chapter in his life. Although the destination is currently unknown, it is clear that Rivera will be coaching somewhere next season. In eight-plus seasons, Rivera coached the Panthers to a 76-63-1 regular season record, a 3-4 playoff record, along with a Super Bowl Appearance.