Panthers, Rivera close to contract extension

Panthers, Rivera close to contract extension

Panthers, Rivera close to contract extension

The Carolina Panthers are happy with the job Ron Rivera has done coaching the team and rewarded him with a two-year extension, NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon reported Saturday morning.

The Panthers (11-5) visit the New Orleans Saints (11-5) on Sunday in an NFC wild-card game.

Rapoport also reported Rivera's extension would be the first significant move for new Panthers chief operating officer Tina Becker, who took over day-to-day operations of the franchise December 18.

Rivera has been coach since 2011 and during that time has brought the Panthers to one Super Bowl appearance and three NFC South titles. Neither team has been completely healthy when they met previously, but the Panthers will have tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil available this time around.

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"This is a tremendous place with tremendous support from ownership and the people that work in the organization". The team will go up for sale at season's end in the midst of an National Football League investigation into allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior by owner Jerry Richardson. "That's a big reason why I want to continue my association with this organization".

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. The Panthers set a new franchise record by going 20 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard individual rusher.

Before joining the Panthers, Rivera was an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers (2007-10), Chicago Bears (2004-06, 1997-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2003).

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