• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The San Francisco 49ers’ Success Story: The NFL’s Diversity Incentive Rule and Their Gainful Use of Extra Picks


Feb 12, 2024
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The San Francisco 49ers have been reaping the benefits of a new NFL rule over the past few years. In November 2020, the NFL’s 32 owners approved a policy that rewarded teams with extra picks 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 goal behind this new rule was to encourage diversity by incentivizing teams to hire and develop minority coaches and executives.

The 49ers have been particularly successful in taking advantage of this rule. Over the past three seasons, they have gained extra third-round picks due to the losses of several minority coaches and executives, including Robert Saleh, Martin Mayhew, Mike McDaniel, DeMeco Ryans, and Ran Carthon. These compensatory picks will be awarded as one pick in two consecutive years if a team loses two employees during a single offseason or spread out over three consecutive years if they lose three employees during an offseason.

The 49ers have used these extra picks wisely, 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, ensuring that they will have at least two players on their roster who were taken with compensatory picks who could play a key role in Super Bowl LVIII.

While some other owners may be unhappy that the 49ers have benefitted from this rule so much, it is important to note that it was their own approval that led to its implementation. Additionally, all teams are allowed to benefit from this rule, so it is not clear why some owners would be upset about it. Overall, the San Francisco 49ers have made the most of this rule and have been able to improve their roster as a result.

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