Skip to main content

NFL+: The Insiders

Commanders expected to move on from HC Ron Rivera after four seasons

Sign up for NFL+ to watch The Insiders every Monday-Friday at noon ET for more exclusive reports.

The Washington Commanders finish their disappointing season at home on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. For head coach Ron Rivera, it's also probably a goodbye.

Washington is expected to part ways with Rivera on Monday, per sources, ending his tenure after four seasons.

The Commanders enter the regular-season finale with a 4-12 record -- including 0-5 within the NFC East -- and have lost seven games in a row entering today. New owner Josh Harris planned to let the entire season play out before making a decision, and sources say nothing has been finalized or discussed with the staff. But as the losses have piled up, the decision has become clearer.

Harris hasn't commented publicly since Nov. 24, when he issued a statement following the firing of defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio saying he feels "exactly how our fans feel today: disappointed and frustrated." The Commanders are 0-4 since then. And it always made sense for Harris, who finalized his purchase of the team in July, to put his stamp on the football operation after the season.

The Commanders job is more attractive than it's been in decades, thanks to competent ownership, some building blocks on the roster, a potential top-three draft pick and extra draft capital to potentially package and target a new franchise QB. That could appeal to the most coveted candidates in this hiring cycle, such as Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who is expected to have multiple options.

The status of general manager Martin Mayhew is also in doubt, sources say, though that decision might not be made immediately.

Expect the Commanders to explore a modified front office structure that more closely resembles other sports, with a president of football operations-type overseeing the head coach and GM. Eugene Shen, who was hired in October as senior vice president of football strategy, oversees analytics and software for the football department and will remain part of the leadership team moving forward. If the Commanders do hire a person in charge of the entire operation, that person would likely be tasked with making decisions on those currently in the building -- including Mayhew. There likely will be other front-office moves aimed at strengthening their situation, too.

Harris, among others, will lead the search for their replacements. He's shown a penchant for attracting and hiring key personnel, including bringing in Nick Nurse and Daryl Morey to the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and Lindy Ruf and Tom Fitzgerald to the NHL's New Jersey Devils.

Rivera, who turns 62 on Sunday, led the Commanders to the playoffs in his first season in 2020, albeit with a 7-9 record. Washington was 7-10 in 2021 and 8-8-1 in 2022 before this year's struggles. In 13 years as a head coach with Washington and Carolina, Rivera has three winning seasons -- including 15-1 in 2015 with a run to Super Bowl 50 with NFL MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers -- and is exactly .500 overall with a 102-102-2 record.

Rivera also served as the Commanders' de facto spokesperson amidst of series of controversies surrounding former owner Dan Snyder, who agreed to sell the team to Harris last year after months of speculation about whether other NFL owners could remove him, which would have required a three-fourths vote from ownership (24 out of 32 votes).

Asked on Jan. 2 about his Commanders tenure, Rivera said: "Well, I'd like to think we're in a better place. Probably a fair way to say it. I most certainly do appreciate my time here, and we'll see what happens."

Related Content