NFL to Award Teams 3rd-Round Draft Picks for Advancement of Minorities

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIINovember 10, 2020

The NFL shield logo is seen on the goal post during an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Matt Patterson/Associated Press

The NFL has announced new incentives for its teams when it comes to hiring and developing minority candidates as it seeks to make diversity improvements around the league.

Under the revised league policy on "Equal Employment and Workplace Diversity," the employer-club of a minority who has been hired as a head coach or general manager by another team will receive compensatory third-round draft picks for each of the following two drafts. 

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Here’s the full language of the NFL’s new diversity rule, as it was proposed to owners in an internal memo. Again, teams that HCs/GMs are hired FROM get rewarded. And the reward is significant. https://t.co/Xd6EtACnN2

The NFL's stated goal is to "[establish] a system that rewards clubs for developing minority employees" who become head coaches or GMs elsewhere in the league. 

The NFL had just four minority head coaches and two minority general managers when the 2020 season began. Atlanta Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris and Houston Texans interim head coach Romeo Crennel joined that list when they assumed their duties midseason.

According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the league chose to incentivize expanding the hiring pool rather than reward teams that hire diverse candidates. 

"That just complements part of the overall collection of the things that we're doing," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said. "To try to increase mobility among in particular black coaches and females as well in the coach and the GM front. I'm looking forward to seeing what the offseason has to bring in the hiring cycle."

The approved measure builds on the 2003 Rooney Rule, requiring teams to interview minority candidates for both head coaching and senior football operations positions.