NFL Football Betting: What's Next for Ron Rivera?

Written by:
C Costigan
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The Carolina Panthers will definitely be looking for a new head coach in the off season as owner David Tepper fired Ron Rivera earlier this week.  Tepper said that the primary reason that he didn’t wait until the end of the season to make the move is that he wanted to start interviewing candidates immediately and didn’t want to do so behind Rivera’s back.  Tepper may be right in that it was ‘time for a change’ but Rivera could end up as the most ‘in demand’ fired head coach in recent memory.  Along with the speculation as to the Panthers’ next head coach there’s already been considerable discussion as to Rivera’s next stop.

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Rivera said in his final Carolina press conference emphatically that he wanted to keep coaching and he’ll have no trouble finding his next gig.  Rivera is considered such a good candidate that he could motivate teams that were thinking of giving a struggling head coach ‘another year’ to make a change instead in hopes of getting his services.  The Washington Redskins already have a head coaching vacancy but that job will be a tough sell for any high profile coach.  A more likely scenario for Rivera is that he’ll wait and see what happens immediately after the conclusion of the NFL regular season.  At that point, there will be a half dozen or more new vacancies from which to choose including several considered to be among the ‘plum jobs’ in the league.

BetOnline.ag has posted odds on Rivera’s future employment prospects and they further validate the scenario that Rivera will ‘land on his feet’ in record time:


YES:  -250
NO    +170

So what sort of opportunities await Rivera during the offseason?  One obvious possibility is the New York Giants who are almost certainly going to fire head coach Pat Shurmur.  The Giants have had several extremely high profile head coaches including Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves and Jim Fassel.  Rivera is reportedly on very cordial terms with Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman and offensive coordinator Mike Shula.  New York could definitely use Rivera as they’re a mess on both sides of the ball and don’t have a whole lot of talent on hand beyond QB Daniel Jones.  Unfortunately for the Giants, the reasons they need a coach of Rivera’s pedigree is precisely why he’s unlikely to take the job.  There’s likely to be better opportunities available on teams offering much more talent on hand to work with.  Throw in the notoriously combative New York media and the Giants’ job isn’t much more appealing than the Washington Redskins’ vacancy.

A more appealing option for Rivera could be the Jacksonville Jaguars.  There’s little to suggest that Jags’ head coach Doug Marrone will be retained after this season and there’s a lot more to work with in Jacksonville than New York.  Gardner Minshew has shown signs of being a legit NFL quarterback and D.J. Chark is a potential Pro Bowl receiver.  The defense has a ton of talent but has underachieved this season.  There’s enough talent on hand in Jacksonville that a coach like Rivera could have them back in the playoffs in his first season.  This wouldn’t be a bad job for a head coach but Rivera could have even better opportunities depending on how things shake out.

Perhaps the most intriguing possibility for Rivera is the Dallas Cowboys.  Jerry Jones sounds as if he’s finally given up on Jason Garrett and the potential of landing Rivera could embolden him to make the move.  Dallas is among the most high profile jobs in the league and it would definitely be a welcome bit of vindication for Rivera that his firing led him to what has to be considered a ‘better job’ than the one he left.  Rivera’s preference is for a rush oriented offense and the Cowboys definitely have the personnel to facilitate that.  Even more attractive to Rivera could be the Dallas defense which is absolutely loaded and particularly at linebacker.  With talent on hand such as Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith at linebacker and DeMarcus Russell at defensive end it wouldn’t take much to transform the Cowboys’ defense from good to dominating.

Looking at the BetOnline.ag odds to become the Cowboys’ next head coach Rivera definitely offers a good betting value.  He’s the co-choice at #7 along with University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh priced at +1000 behind Josh McDaniels, Urban Meyer, Robert Saleh, Lincoln Riley and Sean Payton.  That’s a very impressive field of potential coaches but even Rivera could offer the most upside for a number of reasons.  He’s definitely worth a wager at this price.

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