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Carolina Panthers closing in on an extension for Ron Rivera

During a period of uncertainty in Carolina, the Panthers have made things a little more certain.

Carolina is closing in on a contract extension for coach Ron Rivera, multiple sources say, one that will keep him in charge for the foreseeable future. Rivera was under contract through 2018, but will be extended to 2020 now.

The two sides are deep in talks, and an extension should be completed soon. It's another reward for Rivera, whose team is back in the playoffs.

This is the first big move for Tina Becker, the Panthers' chief operating officer who has taken over for owner Jerry Richardson after he stepped away. Richardson had announced he plans to sell the team after the 2017 season concludes, amid an investigation into alleged workplace misconduct.

In 2016, Rivera signed a three-year, $19.5 million extension through 2018. This latest deal ensures he's there for years past that. If Rivera was available, he would have been a top target for several teams without coaches, including the Bears.

Earlier this week, asked about a possible extension, Rivera said, "I think the biggest thing is everything that needs to happen or is going to happen will happen in time. What's decided, we'll see."

There is a real chance the deal is done before the Panthers play the Saints tomorrow at 4:40 p.m. ET in a playoff game.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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