Back, the NFL’s 32 owners approved a new policy that called for teams to be rewarded 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.
The 49ers have definitely been the biggest benefactors of the new policy and that’s not sitting well with everyone. According to ESPN, several owners have complained to the league office about the number of compensatory picks the 49ers have received due to the policy.
In the 2023 draft alone, the 49ers were given three special compensatory picks, which all came at the end of the third round.
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 (2021), Martin Mayhew (2021), Mike McDaniel (2022), DeMeco Ryans (2023) and Ran Carthon (2023). Overall, those five 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. In 2021, they used one of their compensatory picks on Ambry Thomas, who played in 15 games this season at cornerback with six starts. 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.
Although the 49ers have benefitted from the new policy, it’s odd that other owners would be mad about it, because they’re the ones who approved the rule and they’re also allowed to benefit from it.