NFL Rumors. It's NFL Week 14 and one would think by now rumors would have slowed down as the playoff picture takes shape. Quite the opposite actually. The 2019 NFL Season just got a lot more interesting and as week 14 unwinds there are plenty NFL Rumors to digest.
NFL Week 14 Rumors
The Ron Rivera Effect
The Panthers and head coach Ron Rivera have parted ways. That's PC-speak for owner David Tepper canning his head coach while pointing to the Carolina 5-7 record as the primary reason. In reality, this move has been coming for a while and was presaged when Gettelman was fired as the GM. Tepper wants his guys running the team and (obviously) didn't believe in the ones he had.
In truth, Rivera will only be out of a job as long as he wants to because his resume is solid and his services are valued. In 9 years as the Panthers head coach, Rivera compiled 76-63-1 record, turned around a losing culture upon his arrival and guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance.
Yes, his team is 5-7 this year but injuries seriously rocked the club on both sides of the ball. He lost both his starting QB and best defensive lineman (Cam Newton and Kwaan Short). It happens. However, even if he had been able to play Cam Newton is not the player he was with rumors of many more medical procedures than he has made public and a bone-on-bone issue in his throwing arm. Rivera may have just been given an easy out.
The NFL is a game of dominoes. It's not often a coach of Rivera's pedigree becomes available in the middle of the season.
Queue the rumor machine.
Cowboys Head Coach Decision Time
Jason Garrett is on the hot seat. His team is in first place in the NFC East but that is by default as the entire division has imploded. His owner made it plain last week that he was sticking with Garrett primarily because there were not better options available. He had no-one to turn to at this juncture of the season that was going to be an upgrade in his eyes. That may not be the case anymore!
Rivera has proven he knows how to work with a mobile, athletic QB and has always fielded plus defensive units. His players will run through walls for him.
Cowboys Nation has a shortlist of coaches they go through every offseason they believe Jones should lure to coach the club. Sean Payton is at the top. Mike Zimmer is number two. Ron Rivera is number three and you can bet there has already been a backchannel contact to feel each other out at this point.
If Rivera takes a new job quickly, the Cowboys are the most probable destination.
Chargers Rebuild in Works
Head Coach Anthony Lynn is a special person. One of those rare individuals that walks the walk vs talks the talk. His players believe in him. That said the Chargers are a mess and their owner has proven he is tone-deaf to his fan base and to NFL reality. QB Rivers is falling off a cliff right now at 37 years of age, his RB is in the last year of his contract and his club is in the last place with a 4-8 record and fans are already talking about the NFL Draft.
Ron Rivera would be an immediate boost to ticket sales and on a team that gives up the home-field advantage to every visiting club's fan base, you can bet Dean Spanos is thinking of ways to address that embarrassing weekly event.
The Chargers have nothing to play for this season. Ron Rivera would look good at the helm.
New York Giants Opportunity
The GMen are 2-10 but it's a happy 2-10. The team is ecstatic with their new QB. They know they need major help along both lines and they have made major moves to reclaim their locker room. But they are still 2-10 and as happy as they are with Jones at QB the club is seemingly unable to get All-World RB Saquon Barkley going with any consistency.
GM Gettelman has his hands solidly on the wheel in New York and he and Ron Rivera worked very well together in Carolina. Gettelman knows what kind of players Rivera wants and he has the skill set to get them. The Giants under the Mara family don't change head coaches often and consider that approach critical to their long term success. But Ron Rivera makes a TON of sense and they could do a handshake deal and not make the move till the end of the season allowing Pat Shurmur to drive the team into the number 1 draft slot.
If Rivera doesn't sign with another team right away, look for him and the Giants to get together as soon as the regular season is over.
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