To the extent that anyone believes Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman will be looking for a new coach in 2014 if team doesn’t excel this year under Ron Rivera, the belief can be supported by one simple fact, as noted by Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Every free-agent deal done by the team in 2013 covers only one year.
For a franchise having cap troubles, a longer-term contract could have push some of the first-year charge into future season. But this approach gives the Panthers greater flexibility for 2014, when they possibly will have a new coach, who will want to round out the roster with players of his own choosing.
This doesn’t mean Rivera won’t be back. But it demonstrates the harsh reality of having a new G.M. who may want his own head coach. There’s a good chance the only way to stay will be to have the kind of season that will make it impossible for the Panthers to make a change.