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Panthers extend coach Ron Rivera's contract through 2020 season

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Panthers extend coach Ron Rivera's contract through 2020 season

The Carolina Panthers and head coach Ron Rivera are reportedly closing in on a contract extension.

The Carolina Panthers only lost five games in the regular season after dropping twice that many previous year.

Rivera and the Panthers are close to agreeing to an extension through 2020, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

After losing twice to the Saints in regular season play, Carolina has their work cut out for them if they hope to advance.

"I'm very excited about it because I really like where we are as a football team", Rivera said in a statement.

The Panthers are 64-47-1 record over seven years under Rivera, who is the first coach in franchise history to be taking the team to the playoffs for a fourth time - all in the last five years.

During a period of uncertainty in Carolina, the Panthers have made things a little more certain. Neither team has been completely healthy when they met previously, but the Panthers will have tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil available this time around. And I really appreciate the support we've gotten from our fans in the Carolinas.

On the field, the Panthers have been fairly consistent outside of a disappointing 6-10 season a year ago.

So Rivera will still have to impress the Panthers' next owner or else he'll be out, new contract or not.

Under Rivera, Carolina has produced 28 Pro Bowl and 18 All-Pro selections, including linebacker Luke Kuechly (Pro Bowl, First-Team All-Pro), guard Andrew Norwell (First-Team All-Pro) and tackle Daryl Williams (Second-Team All-Pro) in 2017.

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