The NFL knows that they need more people of color in front office roles, but their latest proposal to make that happen is a bit of a head-scratcher.
The league is considering a plan to reward teams that hire minority candidates with improved draft positions, Jim Trotter of NFL.com reported.
Trotter outlined two major points.
“If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach’s second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round,” Trotter wrote. “A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager.”
He also outlined how a team could jump 16 spots (six for the coach and 10 for the GM) if both positions were filled with diverse candidates in the same year. In that scenario, a team could potentially move into the second round.
The proposal also offers incentives to keep minority hires in place.
“Another incentive: a team’s fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team. That is considered significant because Steve Wilks and Vance Joseph, two of the four African-American head coaches hired since 2017, were fired after one and two seasons, respectively.”
This proposal seems unlikely to pass, but at least the NFL is cognizant about the lack of diversity in roles of power. The owners will vote next week, per Trotter.
Right now, the NFL has three minority general managers (Andrew Berry in Cleveland, Chris Grier in Miami and Ron Rivera assuming de facto GM role in Washington) and four minority head coaches (Anthony Lynn with the Chargers, Brian Flores in Miami, Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and Rivera).
In a league where the vast majority of the players are African American, it makes sense to add representation for them in positions that wield more power than they do. However, the NFL might want to find a better way to make that happen than rewarding teams with favorable draft positions. Obviously, that takes away a bit from the entire point of the current construct of the NFL Draft.
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