All of what you say is your speculation. Has Richardson said that unless Rivera goes to the playoffs that he will be replaced? Has Richardson said that we aren't going to give coaches more than a 1 year deal?? Most of the current coaches have deals beyond this year like Shula. Here is an article where Rivera says he has not gotten a win or else ultimatum. http://www.miamihera...r-panthers.html I have also have not heard what Jim Skipper's contract is for in duration. Where is the link which discusses the term. The reality is that some folks have speculated what is going to happen but up to this point it is rumor. People who are pointing to him and saying lame duck and just repeating what someone else said, none of whom are tied to the Panthers. If one guy jumps off the bridge will you do the same just because........ you know the rest...............
Of course it's speculation. And by definition, that's a guess. And we're both engaged in it, because this franchise never shows it's cards. I can turn the foundation of your argument right back on you--has Richardson ever said that Rivera was definitively the coach in 2014? No? Well then, by the "has it ever been said" logic there's actual evidence that Rivera is in a lame duck situation. Unless, of course, you tightly define the term Lame Duck to suit your argument.
Point is, his job is in danger to the point where people know he won't be back unless he wins. That may be speculation, but it's about as safe a speculation as you can find. There were several comments made about a decision on Rivera coming back in November/December, and I think some were from Rivera himself. And there were comments made about him saving his job by winning all of those games late. If he did save his job, then I think it's fairly safe to speculate that another losing season will not be tolerated.
If Rivera goes 7-9 or 8-8, what odds do you place on him being here in 2014? Assuming Newton stays healthy, do you think there's any way he will be back?
Toss out the label, Lame Duck, and tell me instead what shows you that the current Management has made a commitment to Rivera that extends past 2013.