The Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera following a run of one win in six games.
Rivera led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 campaign, but a team who went 15-1 in the regular season were stymied by the Denver Broncos in a 24-10 defeat.
The Panthers have not won a playoff game since, though there were signs of life this year after they recovered from an 0-2 start to win their next four games despite the absence of injured quarterback Cam Newton, who has not played since the Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a Lisfranc fracture.
However, since their Week 6 win over the Buccaneers in London, the Panthers have suffered an alarming slump that has dropped them to 5-7 and effectively ended their hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Panthers part ways with head coach Ron Rivera. pic.twitter.com/lJrqy60DTE— NFL (@NFL) December 3, 2019
A 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday proved the final straw, with owner David Tepper - who bought the team in May last year - indicating further changes will be coming throughout the organisation.
"I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team," Tepper said. "I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
"We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success. Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes.
"We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff. One change that we will implement is hiring an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations.
"We all must recognise that this is the first step in a process, but we are committed to building and maintaining a championship culture for our team and our fans."
Secondary coach Perry Fewell will serve as the interim head coach for the Panthers' final four games of the regular season. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will switch to become special assistant to the head coach, with quarterbacks coach Scott Turner taking on his father's role.
Rivera ends his Panthers tenure with a 76-63-1 record in the regular season. He went 3-4 in the playoffs.
|NFL playoffs: Who will win Super Bowl LIV?|
|Joe Judge praises ´great teacher´ Jason Garrett after New York Giants move|
|Kittle feeling ´fabulous´ despite ankle issue ahead of NFC Championship Game|
|Police issue arrest warrant for Odell Beckham Jr. on simple battery charge|
|NFL Championship Games Bullet Points: Five must-know stats previewing each game|
|Cardinals WR Fitzgerald to return for 17th NFL season|
|Panthers LB Kuechly announces shock retirement from NFL|
|Shurmur joins Broncos as offensive co-ordinator after Giants sacking|
|Former Chargers star Gates retires from NFL|
|Joe Burrow revels in fulfilment of childhood dream|
|Browns officially hire Stefanski as head coach|
|John DeFilippo out as Jacksonville Jaguars OC|
|It feels like 2012 - Pete Carroll vows it´s just the start for beaten Seattle Seahawks|
|Texans QB Watson stands by coach O´Brien after stunning collapse|
|He carried us on offense – Rodgers lauds Adams|
|Packers hold off Seahawks to reach NFC Championship Game|
|Saints coach Payton expects Brees to play in 2020|
|Kelce: Mahomes proved he´s the NFL´s best QB in Chiefs comeback|
|Chiefs through to AFC title game after scoring 41 unanswered points in incredible comeback|
|Pats WR Julian Edelman arrested for jumping on car|
|Record-breaking Derrick Henry hails collective effort in Titans´ triumph|
|Harbough backs Jackson to rebound after Ravens stunned by Titans|
|Titans take down Super Bowl favourites Ravens in NFL boilover|
|49ers´ Sherman slams critics: In big games, I show up|
|Brady: No timetable on decision about future plans|
|49ers march towards Super Bowl after vanquishing Vikings in NFL playoffs|
|Lamar Jackson wants to be ´the Tom Brady´ of his era, thinks about Super Bowl every day|
|Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper ´obvious ones´ for Cowboys to re-sign|
|Thielen hoping to face 49ers despite ankle injury|
|Eagles part with coaches Groh and Walch|
|NFL Divisional Round Bullet Points: Three must-know stats previewing every game|
|Logan Paul ´serious´ about boxing match with NFL receiver Antonio Brown|
|Aaron Rodgers wants second Super Bowl ring|
|Panthers coach Rhule refuses to comment on Newton´s status|
|Giants confirm appointment of Judge as head coach|
|McCarthy ´jumped up and hugged´ Jones after Cowboys hiring|
|Larry David told Jets to draft Lamar Jackson... and was laughed at|
|Tom Brady: I know I still have more to prove|
|Ravens RB Ingram misses practice due to calf injury|
|Giants to appoint Joe Judge as head coach with Panthers set to hire Matt Rhule|
|New contract or bust for Eagles star Jenkins: I won´t be back under the same deal|
|Adama Traore approached by NFL teams – Saiss|
|Phillips out as Rams defensive coordinator|
|Patriots great Tom Brady to ´explore opportunities´ in free agency|
|Tua Tagovailoa declares for 2020 NFL Draft|
|Mike McCarthy reportedly replaces Jason Garrett as Cowboys coach|
|Proud Carson Wentz going to be ´just fine´ after playoff injury|
|Riley & McCarthy among Cowboys contenders after Garrett firing|
|That´s what greatness looks like - Russell Wilson leads praise of ´special´ DK Metcalf|
|Pederson: Different game if Wentz didn´t get hurt against Seahawks|
|Seahawks power past Eagles in NFL playoffs|
|Brees not drawn on future after Saints´ playoff exit|
|Cowboys part ways with Jason Garrett after missing NFL playoffs|
|Eagles QB Wentz ruled out of Seahawks showdown with head injury|
|Cousins gets statement win at last, much to the delight of Zimmer|
|McCown in for Eagles as Wentz leaves Seahawks game|
|Rudolph slays Saints as Vikings march on in NFL playoffs|
|Belichick still unwilling to discuss Brady: Nobody has thought about the future|
|What´s next for Tom Brady after Patriots loss?|
|Playing with Brady a blessing – Dorsett|
|Hard to imagine Brady not being with Patriots – McCourty|
|Beaten Patriots coach Belichick angered by Brady question|
|Antonio Brown only wants to play with Brady in 2020|
|Tom Brady: Retirement? Pretty unlikely|
|End of New England dynasty? Titans stun Brady´s Patriots in NFL playoffs|
|Watson leads Texans past Bills in thrilling OT wild-card win|
|Vikings back Zimmer and Spielman ahead of NFL playoffs|
|Lamar Jackson on the Browns interviewing Greg Roman: They need to chill out|
|Sherman hits back at critics following All-Pro selection|
|Eagles wait over injured duo Ertz and Johnson, Agholor ruled out|