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Report: Ron Rivera, Panthers begin contract extension talks

Ron Rivera has a 25-23 overall regular-season record with the Panthers. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Ron Rivera has a 25-23 overall regular-season record with the Panthers. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have approached third-year head coach Ron Rivera about a contract extension, The Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person reported Sunday, citing a league source.

The 52-year-old Rivera guided the Panthers to their best season in five years. They finished 12-4, good for second in the NFC and the NFC South division title. Carolina disappointed in the playoffs, losing its Divisional Round game at home to the San Francisco 49ers after a bye week.

Rivera has one more season remaining on the four-year, $11.2 million deal he signed with the organization before the 2011 season. Person reported that a long-term extension — rather than just a one-year extension to take away Rivera's lame-duck status — seems "more likely."

The Panthers have improved each season under Rivera's tenure, following the progression of third-year quarterback Cam Newton.

The Panthers' front office has a plethora of work ahead of it this offseason, with no less than 15 Panthers set to become unrestricted free agents.

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