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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

NFL could approve team reward system for minority candidates

Eric Bieniemy

A new proposal that would reward NFL teams for developing minority coaches and front office executives will be voted on this week by team owners.

Peter King of NBC Sports reports that the proposal aims to reward any team that develops a minority head coach or general manager. Under the proposal, a team that loses a minority coach or GM that is hired as coach or GM of another team would receive a third-round compensatory draft pick in the next two drafts, as long as the coach or GM was with the original team for at least two years. A team that loses both a minority coach and GM would receive third-round compensatory picks in the next three drafts.

One example could be Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is a popular head coaching candidate and has been with the Chiefs since 2013. If a team like the Houston Texans hires Bieniemy as its next head coach, Kansas City would receive third-round compensatory picks in the 2021 and 2022 NFL Drafts.

King reports that the measure has a good chance of passing, though at least one issue has been raised. The proposal does not reward the team that hires the minority head coach or GM. That could lead to a situation where a team is interested in hiring a minority candidate from a rival team. The hiring team may be hesitant to hire the candidate and reward its rival with one or more third-round draft picks.

A previous proposal called for teams to move up several spots in the draft if they hired and retained a minority coach or general manager, but that idea was tabled. One black former NFL head coach called the proposal offensive.

Pressure has been building within the NFL to find ways to create more opportunities for minority coaches. Bieniemy was considered by many to be a better candidate than some head coaches who were hired last offseason, and that led to frustration around the league.

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