The San Francisco 49ers have seen significant success over the past few years, thanks in part to a new NFL rule. In November 2020, the NFL’s 32 owners approved a policy that rewards teams for hiring away minority members of their organization to be head coaches or general managers. The goal was to encourage diversity by rewarding teams that developed and hired minority coaches and executives.
Under the rule, any team that loses a minority coach or executive to a head coach or general manager job will receive 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 benefited from this rule after losing several key minority employees such as Robert Saleh, Martin Mayhew, Mike McDaniel, DeMeco Ryans and Ran Carthon. These losses have earned the 49ers additional third-round picks which they started receiving in 2021 and will continue through 2025.
The 49ers have made smart use of their extra picks by selecting talented players such as Ambry Thomas who played in 15 games this season at cornerback with six starts and kicker Jake Moody. In fact, they used one of their compensatory picks on kicker Jake Moody in 2023 which ensures that they’ll have at least two players on their roster who were taken with compensatory picks and could end up playing key roles in Super Bowl LVIII.
While other owners may grumble about the benefits the 49ers have received from the new policy, it’s important to remember that they are also allowed to benefit from it just like any other team in the league. After all, it’s all part of promoting diversity and inclusion within football organizations while also providing an opportunity for teams to gain valuable talent through compensatory selections.