Panthers Move On from Ron Rivera

Kate Magdziuk

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was fired Tuesday in a move that shook the NFL. Rivera has been with the team as head coach since 2011. Since being hired, he's managed a record of 76-63-1 - a win percentage of .546. He also amassed four playoff appearances - one of which brought them to Super Bowl 50.

The move was made Tuesday following their fourth-straight loss to the Washington Redskins. It's an interesting move for the organization, which has not played with a healthy Cam Newton since late 2018. Sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen has had 10 interceptions and six lost fumbles since taking over as the Panthers' starter in Week 3. Owner David Tepper stated that it was his desire to initiate the search for their future head coach now that prompted the move now, rather than at the season's completion. With this move comes a change of guard, as secondary coach Perry Fewell takes over as interim head coach, offensive coordinator Norv Turner will serve as the special assistant to the head coach, and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner takes over at offensive coordinator.

The biggest concern for fantasy owners with this move would seem to be Christian McCaffrey. Is it possible we see a shift in the workload for the RB1 on the season? McCaffrey currently leads the league in touches (310), all-purpose yards (1,811) and total touchdowns (16). He's hardly come off the field, for that matter, having played 100% of offensive snaps in five games so far this season. Though McCaffrey has also been incredibly efficient with such high volume at 5.0 yards per carry and a career-high 8.6 yards per reception, a hit to his volume would be a major blow for fantasy owners heading into playoff weeks.

Barring any change at the quarterback position, we can likely expect much of the same in terms of production from the team's young wide receiver corps, starring sophomore D.J. Moore. Moore currently leads the team and ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards at 980. Third-year wideout Curtis Samuel, who was the subject of much preseason hype, sits behind him at 532 receiving yards and five touchdowns. There's certainly a bright future for this core group.

During his presser, Tepper commented, "Without shaking the tree, you can't get any apples." Could more changes be in store for the Panthers? There's been much speculation about whether we will see Cam Newton return to the Panthers in 2020, too.

Newton's contract makes him a free agent in 2021, however, team has a potential out in 2020. They would be on the hook for just $2 million in dead cap if they moved. Newton turns 31 in May and has historically battled shoulder injuries prior to this season's Lisfranc injury that sent him to the injured reserve. Newton was the league's MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, but it remains to be seen just how much Tepper would like to shake things up within the organization. Arguably, the Panthers have now lost two seasons on the coattails of an injury to their franchise quarterback with a loaded incoming quarterback class in 2020.

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Daily Slants

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