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Ron Rivera, Panthers Reportedly Agree on New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 16, 2016

Carolina Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera yells during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

Three consecutive division titles, as well as an appearance in Super Bowl 50, were enough to earn Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera a contract extension. 

Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported Thursday the Panthers added one more year to Rivera's deal, which will keep him with the team through 2018 and pay him more than $6 million per season.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport confirmed the deal but noted the coach signed a new three-year contract worth $19.5 million and $3 million in incentives. Rapoport added the sides agreed to the pact in February without a formal announcement. Assistant coaches received raises as well.

Per Coaches Hot Seat, Rivera's average annual salary of $6-plus million puts him in the same pay tier as the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, the Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid and the Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy. Rivera had two years remaining on the deal he signed after the 2013 season.

Even though the 2015 campaign ended on a down note in the 24-10 Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos, the Panthers posted a franchise-best 15-1 record, and quarterback Cam Newton became the first player in team history to be named NFL MVP. 

The 54-year-old took over as Carolina's head coach before the 2011 season and has posted a 47-32-1 record in five years. His three playoff wins rank second in franchise history, behind John Fox's five.

Rumors of Rivera receiving a new deal from the Panthers had been percolating, with Person reporting on Feb. 26 the team "reached out" to Rivera to begin discussions. He was earning just over $4 million per season under his previous contract. 

When Rivera signed his previous extension, he praised the work the organization had done to make the franchise into a perennial playoff contender, per Max Henson of the Panthers' official website:

I have been very clear about how much I have enjoyed living in Charlotte and working for this organization. I very much appreciate the support and confidence Mr. Richardson and (general manager) Dave Gettleman have shown in me and our staff. Any success we have enjoyed is the result of a team effort by players, coaches, scouts and the entire organization, and our ultimate goal remains winning the Super Bowl.

While the Panthers are still looking to reach their ultimate goal, Rivera has them close to where they want to be. Newton's evolution, as well as a consistently strong defense, will make Carolina one of the NFC favorites in 2016.

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