The NFL owners will be taking part in a vote to potentially add an incentive-based reward to the league’s Rooney Rule.
In 2003, the NFL put the Rooney Rule in effect, a policy that makes sure teams interview ethnic-minority individuals for both head-coaching and senior-level football operations jobs.
Many began to question the rule this year after Eric Bieniemy wasn’t hired for any of the vacant head-coaching roles, despite the fact that he’s been very successful as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator. Just one out of the five head-coaching vacancies this year was filled by a minority candidate.
Seemingly, as a result, the league may add an incentive-based reward to the rule. This idea will be presented at the owners’ virtual meeting on Tuesday of next week.
The new addition to the rule would make it so that if a team hires a minority head coach, that ballclub’s third-round draft pick prior to that coach’s second season would move up six spots. If a team hires a minority general manager, the organization’s third-round pick prior to the executive’s second season would move up 10 spots.
And then if a team hires both a minority head coach and general manager in the same year, the third-round pick before either individual’s second season would move up 16 spots (six for the head coach, 10 for the general manager).
So say an organization has an early pick in the third round, it could potentially move that pick up to the middle of the second round and end up with multiple second-round selections.
In my opinion, adding an incentive for hiring an ethnic-minority head coach or executive would be a terrible idea. It’d be a new low for the NFL if the vote passes, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a new low for the league to even present the idea in the first place.
Nonetheless, we’ll learn the result of the pending vote soon enough.