The NFL is making some notable changes to the Rooney Rule for this year’s coaching cycle in order to expand opportunities for prospective minority coaches and executives.
According to league insider Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the league sent out a memo highlighting the changes earlier this evening.
The window for virtual head coaching interviews will now open two weeks prior to the end of the regular season, theoretically giving prospective assistants time to interview before a deep playoff run.
In order to conduct these early interviews, the head coaching job must be actively open and the coach’s current team must consent to the meeting.
Here’s the full memo, which also says clubs must now interview two external minority candidates for GM/Executive VP of Football Operations and coordinator jobs. pic.twitter.com/bLfUZsxY0C
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 27, 2021
The league has also announced expansions to the previous Rooney Rule.
Each team is now required to interview at least two external minority coaches for general manager and coordinator positions –mirroring the current rule for the head coaching position. This change extends last year’s GM/coordinator requirement of one.
Through last year’s cycle, only two minority head coaches (Robert Saleh, David Culley) and three minority general managers (Martin Mayhew, Brad Holmes, Terry Fontenot) were hired.