The San Francisco 49ers have been benefiting from a new NFL rule over the past few years. Back in November 2020, the NFL’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 idea behind the new rule was to encourage more diversity by rewarding teams that hired and developed minority coaches and executives. 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 the most of their extra picks by using them on 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 a key role in Super Bowl LVIII.
Overall, it’s odd that other owners would be mad about it because they are also allowed to benefit from it if they hire minority coaches and executives away from other teams. However, some owners may feel like this policy is giving an unfair advantage to one specific team over others in terms of drafting talent without having enough control over their own hiring decisions.