In an effort to spark the development of more minority representation in both the head coaching and general manager ranks, the NFL will allow teams to benefit if one of their minority employees is hired away to be a head coach or GM to another team.
NFL owners approved this week a plan that would give a team a third-round compensatory pick for two consecutive years if it loses a minority coach or executive when they are hired to be another team's head coach or GM. (It would be three consecutive years if a team were to lose both in one offseason.)
The minority hire has to be a current employee for the former team to get the picks. And they have to be with the former team for at least two years. (The NFL Players Association must also reportedly approve the plan.)
But it is at least a step in giving teams more incentive to find minority candidates and give them roles that could make them upwardly mobile. The Cardinals have historically done that. When Bruce Arians was coach, Todd Bowles was hired as the Jets' head coach from his defensive coordinator position, and Byron Leftwich was brought in from player retirement as a Cardinals' coach and has a chance to keep moving up (both are on Arians' staff in Tampa right now.) Current defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has been a head coach once already.
In the front office, both director of player personnel Quentin Harris and director of pro scouting Adrian Wilson could eventually earn a GM role.
The Cardinals are the franchise that was the first to hire a minority GM-head coach combo in Rod Graves and Dennis Green.
"The overwhelming support for this proposal speaks to how serious the teams and the league are about increasing minority representation at all levels of the organization but especially the top ones," Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. "Consciously and deliberately addressing the topic of diversity is a clear priority. This specific measure effectively rewards teams that succeed at cultivating and developing individuals who ascend to head coach and general manager positions and that is certainly a positive step."