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Odds Favor Ron Rivera Being a Head Coach in the NFL Next Season; Which Teams Could Be Interested?

Ron Rivera on the field.
Will Ron Rivera land another job as an NFL head coach by the start of the 2020 NFL season? Photo by Jeffrey Beall [CC License].
  • Ron Rivera compiled a record of 76-63-1 in eight-plus years with Carolina
  • Rivera led the Panthers to the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons
  • He’s likely to land a new head coach job not long after Black Monday, according to the odds

The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera this week as they felt it was time for a change. Rivera brought stability to the franchise and had plenty of success in Carolina. Given the dearth of quality head coaching candidates, it’s likely Rivera is back in the NFL next season.

Odds Ron Rivera Is an NFL Head Coach in Week 1, 2020

Outcome Odds
Yes -160
No +120

Odds taken Dec. 4.

Would The Dallas Cowboys Hire Rivera?

One of the biggest job openings in the NFL is likely to be the Dallas Cowboys, who by all accounts are close to firing head coach Jason Garrett. Rivera would inherit a team that’s playoff-caliber and not far off from being a Super Bowl contender, so the landing spot would be attractive.

The issue here is whether or not the Cowboys would go for him. Traditionally, Dallas likes to make a splash. That might lead them to do something like promoting offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to head coach or making a serious push for Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley. Dallas likes to swing for the fences.

Rivera is probably what the Cowboys need – a steady hand who has won before – but he’s not a sexy option. He’s more of a safe play. Owner Jerry Jones probably won’t feel like Rivera is the guy to put them over the top.

The Browns Are The Right Fit

Although the Browns are a talented team and entered the year with Super Bowl aspirations, we’ve come to learn that this is the same old Browns. They’re sloppy, undisciplined and immature, and are likely heading for their 13th straight season without a winning record.

The Browns need to learn to crawl before they walk, and Rivera is the perfect coach to do that. Rivera brought stability to the Panthers, leading them to the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons, including a Super Bowl.

More importantly, though, the lows weren’t that low with Rivera. The Browns have endured a winless season and had a total of four wins between 2015 and 2017; the Panthers worst result under Rivera was six wins. When the bottom has fallen out, it hasn’t been drastic.

The Browns have a lot of elite talent on both sides of the ball but they’re clearly held back by coaching right now. Rivera would be a shrewd hire by a franchise that simply needs to clean up a few things and get steered in the right direction. His gritty mindset is perfect for the brand of football that’s played in the AFC North.

What’s The Best Bet?

At the end of the day, I’d expect Rivera to be back on the sidelines next season. There are a number of franchises that are a complete mess right now — like the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rivera is a smart option and is much safer than what else is out there.

When you consider some of the names being thrown around, such as Robert Saleh, Greg Roman, David Shaw and Mike McCarthy, Rivera is a safer choice. He can help clean up the mess and get a franchise back on track. That’s likely to lead to him getting a job again soon, very soon.

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