Recently-fired Panthers coach Ron Rivera will have a robust market of suitors in 2020, according to numerous executives and agents who will be involved in the upcoming coaching searches, and could be in position to choose between several options.
Rivera's personality, leadership, winning resume and communication skills resonate with general managers and owners, and while it was always going to be more likely than not that new Panthers owner David Tepper might want to explore what other coaches were available in 2020, that does not reflect poorly on Rivera. Rivera, who played on Super Bowl teams and coached Carolina to one Super Bowl appearance, is well positioned to meet with multiple owners given the relative lack of experience of many of the other top candidates and the fact there are very few coordinators on either side of the ball who are drawing a strong head coaching buzz.
The two positions that would most closely appeal to Rivera on a personal level, according to several sources who know him well, would be the Chargers, with a chance to return to his Southern California roots, or the Bears, where he played and coached. While those teams have sputtered badly at times this season, it's nowhere close to certain either of those jobs will be opening.
Rivera has strong ties to Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and some members of that staff, and if the Giants make a coaching change it's expected they pursue men who have a proven history of winning as a head coach. The Falcons, with an aging core, may prize experience as well, with owner Arthur Blank not inclined or positioned to do a rebuild, and with Blank's recent hires coming with no previous head coaching experience. Some NFL executives believe Rivera would be a fit with the Cowboys as well.
Rivera has made it clear in his remarks last week that he is eager to jump into his opportunity, and he will have no shortage of opportunities to interview.