Rivera to return for third season in Carolina

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will return for a third season.

Rivera met with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on Saturday, less than a week after completing a 7-9 season with a 44-38 win over New Orleans.

Carolina was 6-10 in Rivera's first season, but his job appeared to be in jeopardy after a 1-6 start this year. Five of those losses came by less than six points.

The team continued to stumble and was 2-8 heading into the final six games, but quickly turned it around. Carolina won five of its last six, including a four-game win streak to conclude the campaign.

Richardson had previously fired general manager Marty Hurney in October, leading to speculation that Rivera was also on the chopping block.

The search for a new GM is underway.