On Wednesday, league owners agreed to make adjustments to the Rooney Rule. The rule, which stipulates that NFL teams must interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new head coach or GM, will now require clubs to interview one minority candidate who is not employed by the team or on the league’s list of suggested minority candidates.
Ostensibly, the rule is being changed in order to force teams to consider minority candidates in good faith, rather than interviewing a minority coach or executive in order to fulfill an obligation. There’s no guarantee that the adjustment will accomplish that, however – teams are still liable to lock in on a candidate before the interview process starts.
Although the NFL won’t come right out and say it, the rule change is likely in response to the Raiders’ hiring of Jon Gruden in the last coaching cycle. The Raiders technically interviewed two minority candidates for the job in Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, but all indications are that Gruden reached verbal agreement with owner Mark Davis before those interviews took place.