NFL owners will hear a pair of resolutions next week that will attempt to provide major incentives for teams to hire minority head coaches, coordinators and general managers.
As reported by Jim Trotter of NFL.com, the NFL is planning to beef up the toothless Rooney Rule by offering the ultimate form of league currency: draft picks.
— Teams that hire a minority head coach will move up six spots in the third round of the draft preceding the coach’s second season.
— A team hiring a minority general manger would move up 10 spots in the third round heading into the GM’s second season.
— A team that hired a minority head coach and GM in the same off-season would move up 16 spots, possibly from the middle of the third round to the beginning of the second.
— A team would move up five spots in the fourth round of a minority head coach or GM’s third draft.
— The NFL would remove the rule that requires permission from a coach’s current club in order to interview for a position elsewhere. This has been seen as a major stumbling block for minority coaches to move into coordinator roles.
— A team that loses a minority assistant to a coordinator position would receive a fifth-round draft pick as compensation.
The changes are viewed as necessary to combat the NFL’s paltry record of hiring minority in positions of power. Heading into the 2020 season, the league will employ only three African-American head coaches — fewer than the Pac-12 conference, fewer than the share of African-Americans in the population at large, and far, far fewer than the share of African-American players in pro football.
Recent seasons have seen Steve Wilks and Vance Joseph fired after one and two seasons, respectively, with the Cardinals and Broncos. The Lions fired Jim Caldwell after three winning campaigns and two playoff trips in four seasons; his replacement, Matt Patricia, has won as many games (nine) in two seasons as Caldwell won in the 2017 season that led to his dismissal.
The three head coaches is actually an improvement from the next chair up; only two of the NFL’s 32 general managers are minorities.
The league’s proposal is an attempt to get in front of hiring preferences displayed by NFL clubs. Seventy percent of head coaching hires over the past three cycles have been offensive coordinators and/or quarterbacks coach, and presently only two NFL clubs employ minorities in those roles — Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs and Byron Leftwich of the Bucs.
NFL owners are set to vote on the proposal on Tuesday. Read the full report here.