AP Photo / Alex Menendez
The NFL is making changes to its head coach and general manager hiring processes by tweaking the Rooney rule.
Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweeted a league note describing the adjustments:
Jonathan jones @jjones9
Upcoming changes to the hiring process for NFL head coaches and general managers, as well as adjustments to the Rooney rule. The memo has just been sent to the clubs here pic.twitter.com/K1523N0SFw
It should be noted that all teams must interview at least two external candidates of color for the positions of General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations. The same goes for the positions of coordinator of offensive, defensive and special teams.
As noted by the NFL, this requirement is consistent with the League’s Rooney Rule on Head Coaches, which mandated at least two interviews with external candidates of color since its enlargement in 2020. The rule was initially adopted in 2003.
Additionally, at least one external candidate of color must be interviewed in person for the Head Coach and General Manager positions.
Finally, teams are allowed to interview head coach candidates during the last two weeks of the regular season if the team has already separated from their coach or if they have notified the coach that they will not be returning. The candidate must have the consent of their organization to be interviewed for the position.
As of week 1 of the 2021 season, five of the 32 teams had head coaches of color: the Pittsburgh Steelers (Mike Tomlin), the Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores), the Washington football team (Ron Rivera), Houston Texans (David Culley) and New York Jets (Robert Saleh).
Five teams have general managers of color: the Dolphins (Chris Grier), the Cleveland Browns (Andrew Berry), the Atlanta Falcons (Terry Fontenot), the Detroit Lions (Brad Holmes) and Washington (Martin Mayhew).
Notable candidates of color for future head coach openings include Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, head coach New York Giants assistant and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and Buffalo Bills assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Candidates of color for general manager positions include Bills Senior Director of Professional Recruitment Malik Boyd, Bills Assistant Director of College Recruitment Lake Dawson, Baltimore Ravens Senior Player Personnel Director Vincent Newsome, the Arizona Cardinals vice president of professional staff Adrian Wilson and former Giants general manager Jerry Reese. .