Ron Rivera joining the Washington Redskins could have an impact on the Carolina Panthers roster next season.
In just one month Ron Rivera went from being the most successful coach in Carolina Panthers history to leading the Washington Redskins. After another second-half collapse, where Carolina began by dropping four straight after starting 5-3, owner David Tepper elected to part ways with Rivera in an attempt to get a jump start on the coaching search and not have to operate with a lame duck coach.
The move also allowed Rivera to become a potential candidate for a growing number of teams who have decided to make coaching changes this offseason. Washington called, Rivera answered and now he’s responsible for leading the team against who he last coached when the Panthers lost 29-21 to the Redskins back in Week 13.
Despite the mounting losses, Rivera appears to be well respected by his players. Having also played in the NFL before becoming a coach, Rivera has the ability to draw on his own personal experiences when dealing with a locker room. While many players are under contract, limiting their ability to follow Rivera north, there are a number of free agents formerly on the Panthers roster who may suddenly be very interested in Washington.
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Defensively, Mario Addison, Tre Boston, James Bradberry, Bruce Irvin, Gerald McCoy and others could entertain the idea while two offensive counterparts – Greg Van Roten and Daryl Williams do the same. With this number of free agents, the result of numerous veterans taking one-year deals last offseason – the Panthers roster (especially on defense) is expected to look a lot different in 2020.
In addition, two key contributors – tight end Greg Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton – both face uncertain futures despite having one-year remaining on their current deals. Olsen all but officially said ‘goodbye’ during the regular season finale and Carolina must decide what type of extension for Newton would outweigh the $19 million in cap savings if he is traded or released.
Rivera would undoubtedly welcome either with open arms as Tepper and Carolina determine their direction and which, if any, free agents they hope to keep.