In recent years, the San Francisco 49ers have been reaping the benefits of a new NFL rule that rewards teams for hiring minority members of their organization to head coaching or general manager positions. The rule was approved by the league’s 32 owners in November 2020 and aims to promote diversity by incentivizing teams to develop and hire minority coaches and executives. Several 49ers owners have complained to the league office about the number of compensatory picks they have received due to the policy.
Under this rule, any team that loses a minority coach or executive to a head coaching 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. These losses have netted the 49ers several extra third-round picks, which they started receiving in 2021 and will get through 2025.
The 49ers have used these 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 fact, 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 a compensatory pick and who could end up playing a key role in Super Bowl LVIII.
While some other owners may be discontent with the rule and its impact on their own teams, it’s important to note that it was approved by all 32 NFL teams and is designed to promote diversity within the league. The success of minority coaches and executives can only lead to greater representation and opportunities for underrepresented groups in sports and beyond. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual team to make the most of these extra resources and use them to build a better future for themselves both on and off the field.