NFL Tables Rooney Rule Draft Proposal

On Tuesday, the NFL proposed incentives to further the mission of the Rooney Rule and increase the league’s number of minority coaches and lead executives. That resolution has been tabled for the time being, according to’s Jim Trotter (on Twitter).

Under the proposed plan, teams would receive improved draft slots in exchange for hiring head coaches or “primary football executives” (read: GMs) of color. A team hiring a minority HC would move up six spots in the third round; a team hiring a minority GM would move up 10. Those incentives would also be combined – hiring both would mean a 16-spot leap in Round 3.

Reaction to the draft-related proposal was mostly negative, so it is not exactly surprising to see it stalled. But the league did make some key changes this week, implementations that add to teams’ hiring processes — which have received criticism in recent years. Of the past 20 head coaching vacancies, minorities filled only three. The changes will force teams to meet with more people of color.

Teams must interview multiple external minority HC candidates and expanding the Rooney Rule to the coordinator level. Clubs must also interview at least one minority candidate for all coordinator positions. These changes did not require a vote and will take effect immediately. But the more controversial changes involving draft positions, which first surfaced last week, will be pushed back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 comments on “NFL Tables Rooney Rule Draft Proposal

  1. JJB0811

    I can’t explain why minorities don’t have more prominent roles with the franchises. But using bribery to get them there is an awful look.

    • tedtheodorelogan

      Horrible look. I can’t believe nobody shot that down before it got to the press.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The particular type of bribery they are proposing will actually undermine the GM or coach who is hired because fans will say that so and so only got hired because the team needed this player or that player in the draft. If the NFL is set on using a reward system for minority hires it would make more sense to connect it with a higher salary cap allowance, an easier schedule or something of that nature.

      • random comment guy

        That’s kinda a contradiction of a statement. You can’t say that they hired a minority coach to get a certain player in the draft and then turn around and at that they should reward a team with a higher salary cap or easier schedule. You’re basically saying the same thing. A higher salary cap will get you that player in free agency. And an easier schedule could get you into the playoffs but at that point was it the coach or the easier schedule?

        • crosseyedlemon

          I was just tossing out a few other options but I agree with JJ that a bribery approach is going to be flawed regardless of how you construct it.

  2. sufferfortribe

    Tabled for now……until they figure out a way around the reverse discrimination angle.

  3. Thomas Bliss

    So for example the Bengals had the 1st pick in the 3rd round if they were to do both and move up are they moving up into the 2nd round.

    • crosseyedlemon

      And what happens if the Bengals had traded away it’s first and second round picks prior to these hires? Does some other team get penalized by giving up a pick or getting knocked back a spot? It could get very messy.

    • jonesadoug

      that’s what I’m thinking. they should hire the BEST coach regardless of color.

  4. bklynny67

    How is this not racist? Because it’s giving blacks the advantage? Racism goes both ways. This is ridiculous.

  5. miltpappas

    “Only three” black coaches out of the last 20? That’s 15%. Blacks make up less than 13% of the general population. That sounds pretty fair to me.

    • whynot

      What percentage of the player population is non-white? The whole issue is the disproportionately low number of coaching and management opportunities for non-whites. I agree the most qualified person should get the job, but at the same time you have to ensure everyone gets an equal opportunity to access the types of roles which will let them develop into top class coaches and front office personnel

  6. Is this a freaking joke? Just make it mandatory in the NFL to hire black head coaches! Why penalize a team because the white coach has been there many years? Also, if a team drafts a white player they forfeit next pick.

    • jonesadoug

      sounds racist to me. the road goes both ways. best coach should get hired regardless of color

      • crosseyedlemon

        How would Belichick or any other white coach have become the best if he had never been given an opportunity to show what he could do? That’s all the minorities are asking for but they are foiled by the Catch 22. Can’t get hired without experience but can’t get the experience if your not hired.

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