Ron Rivera may have just lost his job with the Carolina Panthers, but he doesn’t think his days as an NFL head coach are over.
“I do believe I will get another opportunity, and I will coach again,” Rivera told reporters during a news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday.
He’s probably right. Although he was fired by the Panthers on Tuesday with four games left in what looks to be the team’s second-straight season without a playoff berth, Rivera has an excellent track record as a coach. Who wouldn’t want a guy who took over a 2-14 team and led it two three divisional titles and a Super Bowl appearance?
The real question is, which team is going to land him? The folks at SportsLine have given the New York Giants the best odds (2-1) to have Rivera in place as their head coach for the 2020 season. They’re followed by the Jaguars (7-2), Cleveland Browns (5-1), Washington Redskins (7-1), Atlanta Falcons (9-1), Detroit Lions (10-1), Chargers (12-1), Philadelphia Eagles (18-1) and Dallas Cowboys (20-1).
Of course, none of those teams have a coaching vacancy at the moment (except the Redskins, who fired Jay Gruden back in October; Bill Callahan is their interim coach). But that is certain to change once the regular season ends.
Will Jason Garrett be the next Panthers coach?
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made headlines Tuesday by declaring: “Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year.”
As most sports fans were quick to point out, Jones didn’t specify that Garrett would be back for an 11th season as the Cowboys’ head coach. So does that make him a prime candidate for the Panthers vacancy? BetOnline is giving 11-2 odds that Garrett will be on the Carolina sideline next season. The only person with better odds, according to that site, is San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (5-1).
Behind Garrett is another current head coach, Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons (6-1). He’s followed by Jim Harbaugh (13-2), even though the Michigan coach said in October that reports of him looking to return to the NFL are “total crap.”
SportsLine isn’t as high on the Garrett-to-Carolina scenario (10-1 odds), perhaps because of an NFL Network report last month that Garrett would prefer to coach the Giants if things don’t work out with the Cowboys.
That site is giving the best odds (5-2) to Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman as Rivera’s replacement (BetOnline gave Roman 9-1 odds to get the gig). He’s followed by former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy (4-1), Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski (6-1) and Saleh (7-1).
One thing both sites seem to agree on — former Pittsburgh Steelers coach and current CBS analyst Bill Cowher is very unlikely to be roaming the Carolina sideline next season (SportsLine 50-1; BetOnline 100-1).