The San Francisco 49ers have been reaping the benefits of a new NFL rule in recent years. In November 2020, the NFL’s 32 owners approved a policy that rewarded teams with compensatory picks if a minority member of their organization was hired away as a head coach or general manager by another team. The idea behind the rule was to promote diversity by incentivizing teams to develop and hire minority coaches and executives. Several owners have expressed their dissatisfaction with the number of compensatory picks the 49ers have received due to this 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. These 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 good use of their extra picks by drafting players such as Ambry Thomas, who played in 15 games this season at cornerback with six starts, and kicker Jake Moody. In fact, 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.
It’s worth noting that other owners approved this policy and are also allowed to benefit from it. However, some owners seem to be unhappy about it and feel that it gives an unfair advantage to certain teams over others. Nonetheless, it’s clear that diversity is an important issue in sports and policies like this can help promote change for the betterment of everyone involved.