Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers discussing another contract extension, raise with coach Ron Rivera

The Carolina Panthers have reached out to coach Ron Rivera (far right) about a contract extension after he led the team to Super Bowl 50.
The Carolina Panthers have reached out to coach Ron Rivera (far right) about a contract extension after he led the team to Super Bowl 50. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Getting the Carolina Panthers to the second Super Bowl in their history will get Ron Rivera a raise.

The Panthers have reached out to Rivera to begin work on a contract extension for their sixth-year coach, according to sources familiar with the talks.

It will be the second bump in two years for Rivera, who received a three-year extension worth more than $4 million a year after he was named AP Coach of the Year following the 2013 season.

Rivera, 54, won Coach of the Year again last season after guiding the Panthers to a near-perfect regular season and a Super Bowl 50 appearance.

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the team will be challenged by others in the NFC South in 2016.

Rivera, signed through the 2017 season, is 47-32-1 in five seasons in Carolina. He’s the first NFC South coach to win the division three years in a row (no one had done it two consecutive seasons).

The Panthers have won 19 of their past 20 regular-season games under Rivera, who interviewed for nine NFL head-coaching positions before the Panthers hired him to succeed John Fox in January 2011.

Rivera’s staff also will return almost entirely intact next season.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott interviewed for head-coaching jobs in Cleveland and Tampa Bay that went to Hue Jackson and Dirk Koetter. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula turned down at least one opportunity to interview, according to a source.

Rivera said this week he believes the Panthers’ deep playoff run hurt McDermott’s chances to get hired.

“When you go as far as we did in the playoffs, it’s going to eliminate some opportunities. I’ve been through that, so I know how he feels,” Rivera said. “I do think he’s ready. I think he’s had a great career as a coordinator for us. He’s built a defense. Sean controls the defense, I just pretty much oversee the football team.”

Rivera made only one change to his staff, hiring Thomas McGaughey as the assistant special teams coach. McGaughey, who was with San Francisco last season, will work with special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven.

McGaughey, 42, replaces Russ Purnell, whose contract was not renewed. Rivera said he made the change to add some youth to the special teams staff.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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