NFL compensatory picks for minority coaches and executives explained

Los Angeles Rams v Miami Dolphins
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The news that the Lions are hiring longtime Rams executive Brad Holmes as Detroit’s new general manager means that for the first time, the league’s new rule rewarding teams that help develop minority coaches and executives will be put into place.

Holmes is a minority, so the Rams will now receive a third-round compensatory pick in both the 2021 NFL draft and the 2022 NFL draft for losing Holmes.

Those third-round picks will come after the compensatory picks that are awarded to teams for losing free agent players. We don’t yet know how many third-round compensatory picks will be awarded for losing free agents, but if there were five regular third-round compensatory picks, those would be picks Nos. 97-101. Then the first compensatory pick for losing a minority player or executive would be No. 102.

If multiple teams lose minority coaches or executives, multiple third-round compensatory picks will be awarded. They’ll be awarded in the same order that teams choose in the draft, so the team that’s higher in the draft order would also be higher in the compensatory pick order.

These compensatory picks are in addition to the 32 compensatory picks that are regularly awarded. So while the draft would typically have 256 overall picks (32 in each of seven rounds, plus 32 compensatory picks), there can now be more than 256 picks because of the additional compensatory picks.

The full text of the NFL resolution is below:


Whereas, the member clubs believe that policies designed to promote equal employment opportunity and a diverse and inclusive workforce advance significant league interests, including improved decision making, enhanced business performance, and representing the NFL as an employer of choice that hires and promotes based on merit; and

Whereas, the member clubs have adopted policies extending over several decades in furtherance of these goals, including policies designed to permit upward mobility and advancement of club employees, particularly those in coaching and football operations roles; and

Whereas, the member clubs believe that it is appropriate to take additional steps to enhance opportunities for employment and advancement of minorities and women in key positions, including leadership roles in coaching, personnel, and football operations,

Be it Resolved, that the League Policy on Equal Employment and Workplace Diversity will be amended as follows:

(i) The employer-club of a minority employee who has been hired by another club as its Head Coach or Primary Football Executive (General Manager) shall receive Draft choice compensation in the form of a compensatory Draft pick in the third round in each of the next two Drafts for an employee hired as either a Head Coach or Primary Football Executive, or for the next three Drafts if it has two employees hired for both positions. The reference to the hiring of employees into “both positions” could be by the same club or different clubs. The following will apply to the Draft choice compensation:
a. Any compensatory Draft picks awarded pursuant to this Policy will be at the end of the third round following all compensatory Draft picks awarded to clubs pursuant to Appendix V of the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
b. If multiple clubs are awarded compensatory Draft picks pursuant to this Policy, then the order of those picks at the end of the third round will follow the original selection order for that Draft established prior to any trades or other adjustments.

(ii) The employer-club shall be eligible to receive this Draft choice compensation if:
a. The minority employee hired as a Head Coach or Primary Football Executive has been employed by the employer-club for a minimum of two full seasons; and
b. The minority employee is not the Head Coach or Primary Football Executive of the employer-club and is hired into the same position with the new club. There can be no break in employment between clubs.

Submitted by Workplace Diversity Committee

Effect: Establishes a system that rewards clubs for developing minority employees who move to the position of Primary Football Executive or Head Coach with other clubs.

Reason: Supports development opportunities for minority employees to advance goals of diversity, equity and inclusion.

44 responses to “NFL compensatory picks for minority coaches and executives explained

  1. I curious if this might not have the opposite effect of what they’re hoping for? Take current situations as an example, the Chargers need a new coach, they’ve interviewed Brian Daboll and Eric Bieniemy. For the sake of example lets say they considered both candidates equal, at that point perhaps they decide to hire Daboll over Bieniemy because they don’t want a divisional rival to get two third round picks.

    Obviously none of us know if there’s any chance that will happen until we see the next few seasons play out, but the NFL is all about gaining any advantage you can get over other teams, so it’ll be interesting to see if the draft picks work against minority candidates all to keep other teams from getting more prospects.

  2. Why would a team want to help a different team get more draft picks by hiring one of their employees? It seems like it would have the opposite of the intended effect

  3. So just to be clear, under this brilliant and not at all divisive plan, teams will now be rewarded for losing black coaches/execs? Yeah, I don’t see an issue with that at all….

  4. If this isn’t racist. Nothing is. How about earning your job on merit. What happens when said minority’s team fires him. Do the loose 2 picks in the next draft???

  5. Anyone care to read the definition of discrimination? I’ll share it…

    the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex:

  6. I understand the intentions here. I’m just not sold on it. This instantly makes an employee more valuable based on the color of their skin. Seems like a double standard.

  7. Bunch of scared white guys commenting this morning I see. We tried the merit thing for the first hundred years. Didn’t work. Now we tried this. BFD. You’re stupid team was going to screw up it’s fourth round pick anyways. Play on.

  8. The same 2 who voted down on all these comments have something in common! I will let you guess what it is!

  9. Rewarding anyone, or any entity, for a decision that they made based on someone’s ethnicity is simply wrong

  10. Research is pretty clear that when given the choice between a white and a person of color with equal ability and experience, the white person has the advantage. And, since the majority of NFL owners and execs are white, people of color are at a distinct disadvantage, even if they’re just as qualified. Hence the desire to try to level the playing field. I”m not saying this system of rewarding choices is right, but it’s an attempt to start to raise awareness that the decisions are biased, even if the bias is subconscious.

  11. What if a team already hired a black GM, assistant coach or head coach without having to be bribed? You’re now going to let a team gain an extra draft pick for doing so late?

  12. Teams wishing to hire a minority or coach without gifting draft picks to a competitor can simply hire them first as “assistant head coach” or a different executive position. Then after they are on staff, promote them to head coach or GM.

  13. Did you hear that Jerry? Now is the time to sign a token GM. He won’t have any powers, but you’ll get free draft picks!

  14. grogansheroes says:
    January 14, 2021 at 1:53 pm
    Liberal logic at its finest. Treat everyone equally, right.


    They’re incentivizing development of minority coaches to build a pipeline of minorities coaches to help address demographic underrepresentation in the upper coaching ranks. The goal is to address inequality in outcome distribution — the fact that there’s no evidence that minorities are underqualified to be coaches in terms of requisite skills/knowledge, and yet still are statistically underrepresented.

    Literally nothing political about this except the childish lens through which you choose to view.

  15. I can’t believe in this day and age, we are not only openly condoning, but actively rewarding discrimination against individuals solely based on their skin color. This Affirmative Action can not be spun any other way. Deliberate and purposeful discrimination in the name of political correctness and public relations. How does this make any sense???

  16. pftpoetneedstogetsome says:
    January 14, 2021 at 2:06 pm
    What if a team already hired a black GM, assistant coach or head coach without having to be bribed? You’re now going to let a team gain an extra draft pick for doing so late?
    My totally unbiased opinion as a Bears fan, since they hired Lovie Smith they should be given a do over of the 2017 draft

  17. To the “reverse racism/political correctness” crowd, you do realize most jobs involve someone looking in their network for candidates and most people’s networks tend to mirror themselves? So this rewards teams for developing candidates who are qualified to become part of a network that they would have a much more difficult time breaking into vs. someone who may already have that foot in the door. Don’t believe me? Look at how many executives or coaches in the NFL have a family member who preceded them somewhere else in the NFL and think real hard if that didn’t help them get jobs or opportunities.

  18. Should be 2 draft picks to promote your own minority employee from within and only 1 pick if you hire someone else’s employee. Atlanta should be rewarded if it promoted Raheem Morris e.g.

  19. Always a thrill to get to the bottom of the comments section and find the 3-4 people who have a semblance of an understanding about white grievance politics and/or complex systems theories. For your sanity, your perspective, and your patience, I salute you.

  20. A league populated by an overwhelming majority of non-white players, lacking minority representation in front office and head coaching positions, makes zero sense. This doesn’t benefit The Detroit Lions for hiring Holmes. No team is going to hire a minority head coach or GM who can’t win just for extra third-round draft picks. But it does reward teams for thinking outside of the white box.

    In the 90s people were still saying a team can’t win the Super Bowl with a black quarterback, even though Doug Williams had won a Super Bowl. Nowadays people say the same thing about black coaches. The way we fix this problem is to hire more of them – maybe in proportion to the percentage of black/minority players in the league.

    Newsflash – someday a woman will be an NFL head coach. Don’t look so shocked.

  21. flip rhombus- there is not a person associated with the league, or anyone with a semblance of intelligence who thinks black head coaches cant win superbowls

  22. The picks should go to the team that hires a minority applicant for a high level position, not the team that loses him.

  23. I think they should have just went with the term Equity because that’s what they are looking for, not Equality.

  24. Everyone is looking for a solution that is perfect. There isn’t one.

    This is just the latest, best, of a multitude of crappy possibilities/ideas the NFL could come up. It’s a decent, good faith effort so I don’t really have a problem with it. Plus it doesn’t affect me whatsoever.

    Hopefully it will move the needle. Most likely it will not. Complex social issues tend to evolve best organically. It takes time, but eventually they sort themselves out. Usually social policy engineering attempts seem to create as many, if not more, numerous and more complex problems than they solve but we keep trying nonetheless. Not sure, morally/ethically, we have a choice but to try. A whole career could be made exploring this topic.

    My question would be, what does the “finish-line” look like? What metrics indicate that the NFL is sufficiently equitable?

  25. I’ll pay you to take the black guy instead of the more qualified person. Please remind me why every single minority isn’t the least bit insulted by this.

  26. It’s odd that a league which is 75% black feels like they still aren’t inclusive enough and has to go out of their way to encourage non-white hiring. How do white people not get offended by this? For that matter how are black folks not offended? Talk about being treated like damaged goods. “We will give you a little bonus if you take this one”. Not good.

  27. What if you only “Identify” as a minority? Is that just 1 draft pick? For example, if a team was to hire Talcum X, will they get a draft pick?

  28. “Why would a team want to help a different team get more draft picks by hiring one of their employees?”

    That’s assuming the coaches you got aren’t worth anything to you

  29. “If this isn’t racist. Nothing is. How about earning your job on merit.”

    So the reason nfl coaching staffs and gms are majority white in the nfl has to do with merit and skill?

  30. Look at all the people that suddenly care about racism when its against them. How bout that….

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