Seeking stability amid an uncertain future Myles Jack Jersey , the Carolina Panthers signed coach Ron Rivera to a two-year contract extension on Saturday.
A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the extension is worth $15.5 million over two seasons. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release financial details of the contract.
Rivera has one year remaining on his existing contract, so the new deal keeps him with the Panthers through the 2020 season.
Rivera is 64-47-1 in seven seasons with the Panthers. He has guided Carolina to a Super Bowl appearance, three NFC South titles and four playoff appearances. He has twice been named The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year.
The Panthers (11-5) visit the New Orleans Saints (11-5) on Sunday in an NFC wild-card game.
”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.”
Rivera has been a rock for an organization in the midst of change. Panthers president Danny Morrison resigned last year and general manager Dave Gettleman was fired on the eve of training camp by team owner Jerry Richardson.
Then Richardson came under investigation by the NFL for alleged sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace and announced he is selling the team after the season is over following an inflammatory report by Sports Illustrated. It’s unclear if the new owners will keep the team in Charlotte.
On the field, the Panthers have been fairly consistent outside of a disappointing 6-10 season a year ago.
Rivera oversaw an NFC-record 18-game regular-season winning streak that spanned the 2014 and 2015 seasons and led to Carolina’s Super Bowl appearance in 2015, which they lost 24-10 to the Denver Broncos. Carolina’s .576 winning percentage during Rivera’s tenure is seventh best in the NFL during that time.
Rivera was brought to Carolina for his defensive expertise, and the Panthers put together four consecutive top-10 finishes in yards allowed from 2012-15, joining Seattle as the only teams to do so. Carolina is ranked seventh in defense this season.
Its defense finished third in the NFL with 50 sacks during the regular season, and it is the only team in the NFL to not allow an individual 100-yard rusher in any game this season. The Panthers set a franchise record by going 20 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard individual rusher, the longest active streak in the league.
Carolina’s offense has finished in the top 10 in the NFL in yards rushing per game in six of the past seven seasons Kavon Frazier Jersey , including a fourth-place mark this season at 131.4 yards per game.
”This is a tremendous place with tremendous support from ownership and the people that work in the organization,” Rivera said. ”And I really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from our fans in the Carolinas. That’s a big reason why I want to continue my association with this organization.”
The Panthers have developed plenty of stars under Rivera.
Carolina has produced 28 Pro Bowl and 18 All-Pro selections, including four-time All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton.
Rivera played nine seasons with the Chicago Bears and was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl XX winning team.
Kyle Kuzma and the Los Angeles Lakers easily could have surrendered to fatigue on the second night of a back-to-back late in the season against a team fighting for playoff positioning.
Instead, the Lakers found the resolve to end a three-game losing streak.
Kuzma scored six of his 30 points in overtime and the Lakers swept the three-game season series against the San Antonio Spurs with a 122-112 victory on Wednesday night.
Kuzma, who became first rookie in NBA history with 1,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 3-pointers in a season, made a 3-pointer and a sky hook to start overtime and give the Lakers a lead they would not relinquish. Los Angeles outscored the Spurs 14-4 in the period.
”Tonight I could tell he wasn’t going to ask to come out of that game. He was going to fight through it,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. ”Kuz, it’s fun watching him compete at that level when he gets in that zone.”
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points for the Spurs Jack Youngblood Jersey , who lost on back-to-back nights at Staples Center and are tied with Oklahoma City for fifth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Utah. The Spurs and Thunder both have three games remaining.
”It’s unreal, but it can happen,” said Pau Gasol, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds. ”Those guys played with no fear. They have the green light to get them up, they made a lot of tough shots, and it hurt us.”
Dejounte Murray had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and Patty Mills scored 15 points, but the Spurs lost their seventh straight on the road.
Josh Hart had a chance to win it in regulation for the Lakers John Franklin-Myers Jersey , but his layup hit the back of the rim and went off the front as time expired.
The Lakers swept the Spurs for the first time since 1997-98, relying on their second unit to fight back from an eight-point deficit in the third quarter. Channing Frye scored 19 points off the bench, and Tyler Ennis added 10 points and seven assists.
Walton was pleased with the sweep, but downplayed the idea it represented a significant achievement for a young team.
”To beat them multiple times in a season for a young team that’s kind of finding themselves is a nice accomplishment, but they are most likely still going to the playoffs this year and we’re not,” Walton said.
Spurs: Rudy Gay had 14 points off the bench. … Manu Ginobili (rest) did not play. … San Antonio was outscored 21-9 in fast-break points, including an 11-2 disparity in the first quarter. … The Spurs’ magic number to clinch their 21st consecutive playoff berth remains two.
Lakers: G Lonzo Ball missed his fourth consecutive game because of a left knee contusion. … F Brandon Ingram remains in concussion protocol and missed his third straight game. … The Lakers set a single-season franchise record with 782 3-pointers, breaking the previous mark of 774 in 2013-14. … The Lakers wore their Minneapolis throwback uniforms.
Frye was 8 of 9 from the field, but his only miss had his teammates and Walton laughing at the veteran’s expense after whiffing on an uncontested dunk at the start of the fourth quarter.
”It was funny because after that he made that 3 that hit the top of the backboard and fell in. I turned to him and said, ‘Stick to that Braden Smith Jersey ,”’ Hart said.
Aldridge had 14 points in the first half and 12 more in the third quarter before Walton decided to start double-teaming him. The adjustment worked, forcing Aldridge to become a facilitator.
”He does what he’s supposed to do, get rid of the ball, and now it’s up to the rest of the players to attack and make plays,” Gasol said.
Spurs: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Lakers: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
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