Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Panthers seek stability, give Rivera contract extension

Panthers seek stability, give Rivera contract extension

It's not of Jon Gruden epic-like proportions, but the deal does save the Carolina Panthers coach from a "lame duck" situation in 2018, when he would have been working out the last of a three-year extension he signed for $19.5 million.

Ron Rivera received an early birthday present on Saturday - a two-year contract extension worth a reported $15.5 million. The Panthers (11-6) play New Orleans Sunday in the first round of the playoffs. Carolina needs skill-position players, and its offensive line left Newton to pick himself up far too many times this year. "That's a big reason why I want to continue my association with this organization".

After Jerry Richardson announced his decision to sell the team, he named Tina Becker Chief Operating Officer to stabilize the business side of the organization.

Rivera is in his seventh season as the Panthers' head coach and has a 64-47-1 record and guided the team to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season.

Carolina is 64-47-1 in regular season games under Rivera, whose.576 winning percentage is the best in team history and seventh-best in the National Football League over the last seven years. The Panthers set a new franchise record by going 20 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard individual rusher.

Under Rivera, Carolina has produced 28 Pro Bowl and 18 All-Pro selections, including linebacker Luke Kuechly (Pro Bowl, First-Team All-Pro), guard Andrew Norwell (First-Team All-Pro) and tackle Daryl Williams (Second-Team All-Pro) in 2017.

If Carolina and coach Rivera hope to extend their season, nearly flawless play will be needed in all three phases of the game - offense, defense and special teams. Of course, they also earned one trip to the Super Bowl where they were beat by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos following the 2015 season.

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