The NFL soon could be adopting a very real incentive for its teams to develop minority coaches and executives.
Peter King of NBC Sports reports that, at a virtual ownership meeting scheduled for Tuesday, owners likely will vote on a measure that would reward teams whose minority assistant coaches and non-G.M. executives become head coaches and General Managers.
The rule, if adopted, would give the team that developed the minority coach or G.M. an extra draft pick. However, the rule would not reward the team that hires the minority coach or G.M.
Previously, the NFL had considered the latter possibility. It was met with criticism by those who believe that the league should not create an incentive for essentially doing what they should be doing without getting a strategic bonus for doing so.
Under the proposal, the team losing the minority assistant coach or executive would receive a third-round compensatory selection in next two drafts, if the candidate had employed by the former team for at least two years.
For example, if Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy lands a head-coaching job in the next hiring cycle, the Chiefs would receive a third-round compensatory pick in 2021 and in 2022.
Although this proposal, which per King has a “good chance” to pass, does not create an incentive for the team that hires a minority coach or G.M., it incentivizes teams to develop minority candidates who would then realize a promotion elsewhere to one of the premier positions in coaching and scouting/team management.
Given that one of the major challenges has been and continues to be the pipeline of capable and qualified minority candidates, this rule would reward teams for spending time and effort when it comes to creating and establishing a diverse collection of qualified individuals to whom significant responsibility is entrusted, allowing them to reach their full potential and, in turn, become attractive to owners of other teams.
Like any rule, the potential for unintended consequences exists. A team, for example, may shy away from hiring a minority candidate from a division rival, since that rival would realize the benefit of two extra third-round picks when the candidate leaves. It’s ultimately a risk worth taking, because it will prompt teams to consider staffing decisions beyond the current who-you-know or who-you’re-related to model of filling out coaching staffs and front offices, creating over time more candidates who have proven themselves as capable of ascending to the most coveted jobs in the league.
Regardless, the current model continues to be flawed. This approach, if adopted, becomes a device for addressing that flaw in a way that gives teams a clear reason to strive for more diversity in the jobs that naturally lead to a higher percentage of minority coaches and General Managers.
King undoubtedly will have much more on this in his next installment of Football Morning in America, which will debut early Monday as the lead item at PFT.