Report: NFL Proposing Incentives for Minority HC Hires, More Rooney Rule Tweaks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 15, 2020

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell discusses a new initiative with AWS that will transform player health and safety using cloud computing during AWS re:Invent 2019 on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken/AP Images for NFL)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

In an attempt to encourage teams to hire minority coaches, the NFL intends to present multiple resolutions to owners during the annual league meetings next week. 

Per NFL.com's Jim Trotter, the resolutions that are expected to be voted on include removing an anti-tampering barrier that allows teams to block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions and an incentive program that will reward clubs for hiring minority candidates as head coaches or executive-level positions in the football operations department.

Under the incentive proposal, teams would receive a boost in their third-round draft pick if they hire a minority as head coach or primary football executive and keep him or her employed for multiple years. 

According to Trotter, a team could move up six spots from where it's slotted to pick in the third round in the draft before the coach's second season and a 10-spot jump in the same scenario for a primary football executive. 

Clubs would also receive a five-spot jump for their fourth-round pick in the draft before the coach or executive's third year if they remain employed. 

Teams could also receive a 16-pick jump if it hires minority candidates for both positions in the same year.

The proposal comes in the wake of criticism that the Rooney Rule isn't helping increase the diversity among NFL coaches and executives. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to reporters about diversity in hiring during his State of the League address during Super Bowl week:

"Clearly, we are not where we want to be on this issue. We have a lot of work that's gone into not only the Rooney Rule, but our policies overall. It's clear we need to change and do something different. There's no reason to expect that we're going to have a different outcome next year without those kinds of changes, and we've already begun engaging in those changes."

Martenzie Johnson reported for The Undefeated last December that since 2009 a total of 12 teams haven't hired a head coach of color, including four teams that had head coaches before that season and haven't made a change. 

Johnson also noted the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints haven't hired a head coach, offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator of color since 2009. 

Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) and Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins) are the only non-white head coaches in the league.