Report: NFL owners could reject proposal to make dramatic changes to Rooney Rule

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The National Football League has faced plenty of criticism in recent years for the lack of opportunities for minority candidates to become head coaches and general managers. Now, a rule proposal that would attempt to change that could be in significant jeopardy.

In response to recent criticism, the NFL planned to propose a new addition to the Rooney Rule that would incentivize teams to hire a person of color to become head coach, general manager or quarterbacks coach. While the proposal has some support around the league, it reportedly might not have support from the most important people.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t viewed as one of the rule’s most enthusiastic supporters. Given NFL owners often vote in favor of what Goodell wants, it’s created significant uncertainty for the proposal’s chances of passing during a vote on Tuesday.

Under the new proposal, an NFL team would move up six spots in the third round of the NFL Draft a year after they hired a person of color as head coach. If a team hired a minority candidate to become the organization’s top football executive, commonly known as the general manager, they would move up 10 spots in the third round. If they did both, the organization would jump up 16 spots.

The NFL also wants to make the path to roles on the offensive side of the ball more available. It would block a rule that prevents teams from interviewing assistants on other clubs to become offensive coordinator and would incentivize teams for hiring a person of color as quarterbacks coach.

Notably, 24 of the most recent 33 hires have been coaches on the offensive side. Organizations are looking towards offensive-minded coaches more than ever to become head coach, a point of emphasis for those critical over the league’s lack of coaching diversity.

If NFL owners reject the proposal on Tuesday, the league would likely need to turn its focus to create more full-time fellowships, like the one Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made