Redskins owner Daniel Snyder also has been in contact with former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis but is prepared to hire Rivera. According to the same person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is being considered for a role in the Redskins’ front office, but he might be intent on pursuing other NFL head coaching jobs instead.
The Redskins announced Monday morning that they had fired Bruce Allen as team president and he no longer is with the organization. Rivera is expected to have considerable say over the roster and NFL draft if his deal to be the team’s coach is completed. The exact front office composition is not clear, and the Redskins could be considering outside general manager candidates, including current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick.
But current Washington front-office executive Eric Schaffer is expected to have a significant role in the team’s operations moving forward, and Rivera will need to believe that he can work with Schaffer for the deal to be completed.
The Redskins have complied with the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires each team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority candidate, and are free to hire Rivera on Monday. Rivera and Lewis are minority candidates.
A person familiar with the situation said Saturday it was “a strong possibility” that Rivera would be hired by the Redskins.
Rivera’s agent, Frank Bauer, confirmed that his client would meet with the Redskins on Monday but did not elaborate on the status of Rivera’s conversations with the team. But a person familiar with the team’s deliberations said the Redskins would like to move quickly and hire Rivera on Monday before other franchises could become involved. It was believed at one point that Rivera could be a strong candidate for the New York Giants if they fire Pat Shurmur.
Rivera, 57, was fired Dec. 3 by the Panthers, with the team’s record at 5-7. He took them to the playoffs four times in his first seven seasons after being hired by Carolina in 2011. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl in the 2015 season but lost to the Denver Broncos. They returned to the playoffs in the 2017 season but lost in the opening round.
If the Redskins cannot complete a deal quickly with Rivera, their other head coaching options would include Lewis and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.
Following Sunday’s 47-16 loss to Dallas, interim head coach Bill Callahan said he had not been told anything regarding his future with the team but that he understood the situation. He added that Washington’s next coach would be getting a talented team that is prepared to put the 2019 season in the past, saying he thought the roster was close to finding success, even after this year’s disappointing 3-13 record.
“I don’t think it’s very far,” Callahan said. “You can make a case for being way far away or very close. I think it’s very close. There’s a lot of talent across the board, across the defensive front. There’s young emerging players on offense. I think a good offseason program [and] training camp would produce a really positive effect on the team.”
Kareem Copeland in Arlington, Tex., contributed to this report.