UPDATE: Michael Silver is reporting that the deal is done and Ron Rivera has been hired as the new coach.
This report has been confirmed by Rappaport, who says “Announcement Tommorrow”
The #Redskins are making Ron Rivera their new coach and giving him a 5-year deal, sources say. A big commitment.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2019
Source close to Steve Wilks said at this time he does not expect him to join Ron Rivera in Washington as the DC. Had coached with him in Carolina.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 31, 2019
On Good Morning Football this morning, Ian Rappaport talked about Ron Rivera potentially being hired as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, and he was unambiguous, saying, “Make no mistake... this is happening.”
From @gmfb: The #Redskins won’t have an announcement until New Year’s, but they are still on track to hire Ron Rivera as their new coach, what's going on with the #Cowboys, and the #Dolphins hired Chan Gailey as their new OC. pic.twitter.com/towRSXqmXF— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2019
Rivera arrived in Washington late yesterday with his wife and reportedly went out for dinner with Dan Snyder. Expectations, according to Rappaport, are that the two sides will finalize a deal today.
There have been some concerns raised about Rivera’s potential hiring, mostly focused on Rivera’s three winning seasons out of nine total in Carolina. Geoff Schwartz addressed those concerns yesterday in an article published by SB Nation:
I know he only had three winning seasons in Carolina, but it’s not as bad as it looked. He took over a putrid 2-14 squad in early 2011. The Panthers drafted Cam Newton and as expected, they took their rookie bumps and bruises and went 6-10 The following season, the Panthers rose to 7-9 as they continued to churn the roster and work with Newton. In 2013, it came together and the Panthers went 12-4. In 2014, the Panthers again made the playoffs and then 2015 brought the Panthers a Super Bowl berth. As we’ve seen with plenty of NFC teams after a Super Bowl loss, 2016 was a down season. The Panthers returned to form the following season to earn a wild card berth at 11-5, before losing to the Saints for the third time that season.
Heading into 2018, expectations were high and they got off a roaring start. The Panthers went 6-2 before Newton injured his shoulder and the season fell apart. Cam only played two games this season before the Panthers put him on ice. So outside of the first two rebuilding seasons, and the last two with an injured Newton (and other parts of the roster), Rivera led the Panthers to the playoffs four out of five seasons, and reached a Super Bowl once.
With regard to concerns about Rivera being one only two head coaches fired in-season, and — so far — one of four coaches to lose his job, I noted the following information from the NFL coaching tracker on NFL.com:
Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins: Gruden...left the organization with a 35-49-1 regular-season record and one postseason appearance.
Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns: Cleveland went 6-10 in his only year at the helm.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers: Rivera [compiled] a 76-63-1 regular-season record and making four postseason appearances. Rivera’s Panthers won three straight division titles from 2013 through 2015 and made Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 season. Rivera was a two-time Coach of the Year in Carolina.
One of these is not like the others.