The Carolina Panthers and Ron Rivera agreed to a new contract that will keep him under contract through the 2018 season, the team announced Thursday. Rivera has been with the team since 2011 and has compiled a 49-33-1 record over his time as head coach in regular season and postseason. He has led his team to three straight NFC South division titles and the Panthers were the first team in the NFC South to win back to back years.
"It was an easy decision. Ron has worked extremely hard, and we are thrilled with our current direction," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "Mr. Richardson has established a great culture here, and Ron is a big part of that."
This past season, Rivera earned Coach of the Year, which is the second time he has won it in three seasons, and helped lead the Panthers to an NFL-best 15-1 regular season. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Panthers and Rivera actually agreed to a new three-year deal worth $19.5 million with $3 million more in incentives.
The $6.5 million dollar average salary now makes Rivera one of the highest paid coaches in the NFL.
This was the final move the Panthers needed to keep their head coach, as well as their offensive and defensive coordinators (Mike Shula and Sean McDermott), under contract through the 2018 season.