The NFL has attempted numerous times to improve its franchises record in hiring minority head coaches and general managers. While they continue to to fall behind the times, there may be an incentive for NFL teams in the very near future.
According to NFL.com’s Jim Trotter, there will be proposed modifications to the Rooney Rule.
For those not familiar with the Rooney Rule, it is a rule that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for openings at head coach or general manager. The proposed modifications include not allowing teams to block assistants to interview for coordinator positions, and giving teams a better draft slot if they hire minorities at the top positions.
BREAKING: NFL owners will vote next week on a resolution that would improve a team's draft position if it hires a person of color as head coach or general manager, per sources. Currently there are only 2 black GMs & 4 HCs of color, matching 17-year low👇🏾 https://t.co/867umaUe4o
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) May 15, 2020
The league will present these two proposals this upcoming Tuesday during the owners’ virtual meeting in an attempt to level the playing field.
Only one of this past offseason’s five head coaching vacancies was filled with a minority candidate, with the Washington Redskins signing Ron Rivera. Beyond that, just three of the past 20 openings have gone to a minority.
Below are the proposed changes that would have an influence on the draft, quoted directly from Trotter’s story:
If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach’s second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round. A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager.
If a team were to fill both positions with diverse candidates in the same year, that club could jump 16 spots (six for the coach, 10 for the general manager) and potentially move from the top of the third round to the middle of the second round. A team’s fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team. That is considered significant because Steve Wilks and Vance Joseph, two of the four African-American head coaches hired since 2017, were fired after one and two seasons, respectively.
The process of assistant coaches interviewing for coordinator positions also involves draft picks.
Teams would receive a fifth-round compensatory pick if a minority assistant left for another team to be a coordinator.
If a minority candidate were to leave his old team for a head coach or general manager job, his previous team would get a third-round compensatory pick.
If a team hires a minority quarterbacks coach—which is often the step before offensive coordinator—they would get a fourth-round compensatory pick if the quarterbacks coach is retained past one season.