Ahead of putting to vote a proposal that would incentivize teams hiring minority candidates at general manager and head coach by giving teams better draft picks, the NFL is expanding the Rooney Rule.
Here’s the scoop from NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero:
Teams must interview 1 external minority candidate for senior football ops/GM jobs, too. And clubs and the league office must now include minorities and/or female applicants for senior-level positions, including club president. All effective after virtual league meeting tomorrow.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 18, 2020
When the Rooney Rule was put into place in 2003, it required teams to interview at least one minority head-coaching candidate when a vacancy popped up. But Pelissero reports the changes will include interviewing two external minority candidates for head coach openings, plus a minority candidate for open coordinator gigs. From where I sit, it’s important to distinguish external in Pelissero’s report, as this policy comes months after Panthers Defensive Coordinator/Interim Head Coach Perry Fewell was the lone publicly reported minority candidate who interviewed for a job that ultimately went to Matt Rhule.
This is a progressive move for the NFL, which has established that it needs to make changes to a rule that was put into place in good faith, though has been skirted around by teams over the years. And while the proposal of giving teams draft-pick boosts for hiring minority coaches and GMs will still go to vote, the league doesn’t appear to be waiting to make change to a current policy that it deems to be necessary.