Rivera had been dismissed in early December by the Carolina Panthers after eight and a half seasons. During his tenure there, he took the Panthers to four playoff appearances and finished as the franchise’s most successful head coach, with a 76-63-1 record. He arrived in town when quarterback Cam Newton was a rookie, and their fortunes rose and fell together. Their peak came in the 2015 season, when the Panthers were 15-1 and made their first Super Bowl appearance, losing to the Denver Broncos, 24-10, in Peyton Manning’s final game.
Rivera was named coach of the year by The Associated Press in 2013 and 2015.
Despite those highs, the team has had a losing record in three of the last four years. This season, Newton played in only two games before leaving the lineup with a foot injury. There had been hopes that he would return, but he never did, a touchy topic that hung over the team.
The Panthers ran off four straight wins behind the backup Kyle Allen. The magic didn’t last. Rivera was fired after a loss to Washington, with the team’s record at 5-7. They lost their last eight games, limping to a 5-11 record to finish in last place in the N.F.C. South.
Rivera inherits a Redskins team that slumped to a 3-13 record this season after four years of finishing within a game of .500. Coach Jay Gruden was fired after an 0-5 start, but things didn’t improve much under the interim coach, Bill Callahan.
The team turned to rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the starter halfway through the season, but if anything, he performed worse than his predecessor, Case Keenum, before injuring an ankle in Week 16.
On Monday, the Redskins fired Bruce Allen, the team president for the last 10 years.
The end of the regular season is the most common time for teams to cut coaches loose. On Monday, the Giants fired Pat Shurmur. On Sunday the Cleveland Browns fired Freddie Kitchens, and dismissed the team’s general manager, John Dorsey, on Tuesday. Doug Marrone of the Jaguars, another coach on the hot seat, will stay with the team, owner Shad Khan announced on Tuesday. The Jaguars were 6-10, two years after making the A.F.C. championship game. “The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear,” Khan said in a statement.
In Dallas, where the Cowboys missed the playoffs at 8-8, team owner Jerry Jones met with Coach Jason Garrett on Monday and planned to do so again on Tuesday. Garrett’s contract runs out on Jan. 14.
Garrett has coached the team for nine full seasons, and had a losing record in only one of them (2015). But he made the playoffs just three times, never advancing past the divisional round.
Ken Belson contributed reporting.