The Carolina Panthers are close to a contract extension with Ron Rivera that would ink the head coach to 2020.
Per NFL.com, this is the first big move for Tina Becker, the Panthers' chief operating officer who has taken over for owner Jerry Richardson after he stepped away. Richardson had announced he plans to sell the team after the 2017 season concludes, amid an investigation into alleged workplace misconduct.
In 2016, Rivera signed a three-year, $19.5 million extension through 2018. This latest deal ensures he's there for years past that. If Rivera was available, he would have been a top target for several teams without coaches, including the Bears.
Earlier this week, asked about a possible extension, Rivera said, "I think the biggest thing is everything that needs to happen or is going to happen will happen in time. What's decided, we'll see."
There is a real chance the deal is done before the Panthers play the Saints tomorrow at 4:40 p.m. ET in a playoff game.