The San Francisco 49ers have been reaping the benefits of a new NFL rule over the past few years. In November 2020, the league’s 32 owners approved a policy that rewarded teams 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 the new rule was to promote diversity by incentivizing teams to hire and develop minority coaches and executives.
Since then, several owners have complained to the league office about the number of compensatory picks the 49ers have received due to the policy. Under the rule, any team that loses a minority coach or executive to a head coach 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. Those losses have netted the 49ers several extra third-round picks, which they started receiving in 2021 and will get through 2025.
The 49ers have made great use of their extra picks by 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, so they’ll have at least two players on their roster who were taken with a compensatory pick and who could end up playing key roles in Super Bowl LVIII.
Despite their success under this new policy, some other owners have expressed dissatisfaction with it. However, it is important to note that these owners are also allowed to benefit from it themselves if they choose to do so by hiring diverse coaches and executives within their own organizations. Overall, it seems like this new policy is doing exactly what it was intended to do – promote diversity while rewarding teams for developing minority talent within their ranks.