The San Francisco 49ers have been reaping the benefits of a new NFL rule for the past few years. In November 2020, the NFL’s 32 owners approved a policy that rewarded teams any time a minority member of their organization was hired away by another team to be either a head coach or a general manager. The idea behind the new rule was to promote diversity by incentivizing teams to hire and develop minority coaches and executives.
Under the rule, any team that loses a minority coach or executive to a head coach or general manager job will be compensated with two third-round picks that will be awarded as one pick in two consecutive years. If a team loses two employees during a single offseason, then that club will receive three third-round picks that will be spread out over three consecutive years. Over the past three seasons, the 49ers have gained extra picks due to the losses of Robert Saleh, Martin Mayhew, Mike McDaniel, DeMeco Ryans, and Ran Carthon. Those losses have netted the 49ers several extra third-round picks, which they started receiving in 2021 and will get through 2025.
The San Francisco 49ers have used their extra picks wisely by selecting players such as Ambry Thomas, who played in 15 games this season at cornerback with six starts, and kicker Jake Moody. In 2023, they used one of their compensatory picks on kicker Jake Moody, so they’ll have at least two players on their roster who were taken with compensatory picks and who could end up playing key roles in Super Bowl LVIII.
While some other owners may feel discontent about the fact that the San Francisco 49ers have benefitted greatly from this new policy, it’s important to remember that it was their own approval that led to its implementation. The league office should continue to promote diversity within NFL teams by incentivizing them to hire and develop minority coaches and executives through policies like this one.