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Redskins Rumors: Jack Del Rio Is 'Leading Candidate' to Be Ron Rivera's DC

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 31, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 20: Jack Del Rio is seen on the sidelines before the game against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have agreed on terms to hire Ron Rivera as their next head coach, the NFL Network's Mike Silver reported Tuesday morning, and ESPN's Adam Schefter added that Rivera "is expected to target" Jack Del Rio to become Washington's next defensive coordinator.

Schefter also noted:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

The Ron Rivera-Jack Del Rio team in Washington will be a strong one. In 2002, Del Rio took over the league’s worst defense in Carolina and turned it into the NFL’s second-ranked unit; in 2012 he took Broncos from 20th-ranked defense to second.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Rivera will arrive in Washington, D.C., on a five-year deal with the official announcement from the franchise "probably" coming Wednesday:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From @gmfb: #The #Redskins are hiring coach Ron Rivera, who spent last night dining with owner Dan Snyder. Rivera will now will begin the process of figuring out his staff with a look at some internal candidates. https://t.co/gc15NZ4feg

Del Rio last served as a head coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2015-17, while his most recent defensive coordinator position was with the Denver Broncos from 2012-14.

Rivera hit the market when the Carolina Panthers fired him Dec. 3 after spending the last nine years as their head coach.

ABC 7 News' Scott Abraham relayed that Washington "would like to switch to a 4-3 defense next year."

Del Rio helped to build the Broncos unit inherited by Wade Phillips that ranked first overall in total defense and passing defense as well as third in rushing defense during a 2015 Super Bowl run. 

Del Rio was hired by ESPN as an analyst in August. "I think it was healthy to unplug and get away last year," he said at the time, per the Associated Press' Joe Reedy. "I made the best of a situation that was awkward and abrupt. I haven't said I am done coaching. This allows me to still talk about and cover the game while reviewing game tape and providing an opinion."

Washington ranked 18th in passing defense, 27th in total defense and 31st in rushing defense this season. The team finished 3-13, firing head coach Jay Gruden on Oct. 7 and leaning on interim head coach Bill Callahan. The organization made a major move by firing president Bruce Allen, who had spent 10 years in that position, on Monday.