Ron Rivera is out in Carolina, as the Panthers fired their longtime head coach Tuesday.
So how could this impact the Giants?
Well, Rivera is now available to be hired next offseason, as Giants co-owner John Mara surely will be seeking a replacement for the woefully underachieving Pat Shurmur.
But Rivera -- who was replaced in Carolina (for now) by former Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell -- would make little sense for a Giants organization that is trying to develop high-profile rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. That should be Mara's top priority in this upcoming coaching search, presuming he does indeed fire Shurmur.
Rivera, who turns 58 in January, had been the Panthers' head coach since 2011. And he is well respected as a coach and a man in NFL circles. He had a strong run in Carolina.
He went to the playoffs four times and missed them four times. In this, his ninth season with the Panthers, he was on his way to missing the postseason again. Carolina is 5-7, but has had quarterback Cam Newton's services for just two games -- a tough blow for Rivera.
Not only is Rivera a retread candidate, but he is also a defensive-minded coach who has never directly run an offense or developed a quarterback. He was defensive coordinator for the Bears and Chargers before the Panthers gave him his first head coaching job.
That's not to say he did nothing with the Panthers. He did quite a bit, in fact.
He won 11, 12, and 15 games, and reached (then lost) the Super Bowl during that magical 15-1 season in 2015. But other than that year, he won just one playoff game. Rivera's career record is solid but not spectacular -- 76-63-1, plus 3-4 in the playoffs.
Mara probably will at least give Rivera a look once he fires Shurmur. Sure, why not? Can't hurt. At the very least, Rivera has head coaching experience, and it's not like he flopped during his first stint as a head coach, like Shurmur did in Cleveland.
Plus, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman (presuming he isn't fired, too) has worked with Rivera. Gettleman was the Panthers' GM from 2013-17, so he knows Rivera well.
Will Mara highly value head coaching experience in this coaching search, even if the candidate doesn't have offensive/quarterback-developing chops? Or will Mara opt for a younger, up-and-coming offensive mind, like so many coach-seeking teams did last offseason?
Ultimately, Rivera figures to land at least a couple interviews during next offseason's coaching searches. A team or two surely will want to speak with him. He isn't a perfect candidate, but in the eyes of some teams, he probably will stack up well against the other available candidates next offseason. (And remember, a team can only hire an available candidate.)
Still, he isn't an ideal fit for the Giants. Mara can (and should) do better.