Panthers coach Ron Rivera entered the season on the hot seat, with extra heat coming from the offseason hiring of a new General Manager. While Rivera’s accomplishments this year ensure that he’ll be back for 2014, a very real question has arisen regarding his security beyond the coming year.
Three years ago today, Rivera became the head coach of the Panthers, signing a four-year deal. Next year will be the final year of the contract. Absent an extension, he’ll be a lame duck.
He wouldn’t be the first lame duck in Carolina. Four years ago, John Fox worked the final year of his contract, in large part because owner Jerry Richardson wanted to move on but didn’t want to pay Fox to not coach.
There are three options with Rivera: (1) let him coach the final year of his contract and make a decision after 2014; (2) give him a one-year Band-Aid deal so he’s not a lame duck; and (3) reward him with a long-term extension.
The decision made by the franchise will shed plenty of light on G.M. Dave Gettleman’s true attitude toward Rivera. Every General Manager wants to hire his own coach. Only a multi-year extension will show that Gettleman has decided after a year on the job that he would hire Rivera.
For more on the situation, here’s our own Panthers insider Darin Gantt from Monday’s PFT Live.