Panthers hand Rivera extension through 2020

The Carolina Panthers have handed head coach Ron Rivera a two-year contract extension through the 2020 season.

"I'm very excited about it because I really like where we are as a football team," Rivera said in a statement. "We've done some really good things and we have an opportunity to do more.

"Things are in place and we can continue this success. We've had consistency of winning and we've gone to the playoffs four out of five years."

The Panthers will face the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card round of the playoffs on Sunday. They are making their fourth playoff appearance in Rivera's seven years at the helm.

Carolina are 64-47-1 under Rivera and progressed to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, when they lost to the Denver Broncos.

Rivera's old deal was set to expire after the 2018 season, but he would have been coveted this offseason in a market with six head coach openings. The Chicago Bears, for whom Rivera both played and coached, are among the teams searching.

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