NFL owners have approved a proposal which incentivises the development of minority coaches and executives.
The proposal, which is subject to approval from the NFL Players Association, will reward a team with a third-round compensatory Draft pick in back to back Drafts if another team hires a member of their staff to a higher role.
The coach or executive has to have been with their previous team for a minimum of two years for the compensation to apply.
NFL owners also unanimously agreed to allow two more teams into an already expanded play-off field in the event the 2020 regular-season schedule is not completed in 18 weeks, NFL Network reported.
The contingency plan has the potential to put 16 teams into a jam-packed race to the Super Bowl.
In a March vote among owners, the playoff field was expanded to 14 teams for this season, meaning that 43.8 per cent of the teams would make it to the postseason. Now, a 16-team playoff – allowing half the teams to make it in the field – would happen if the COVID-19 pandemic further wreaks havoc on the schedule.
While the NFL normally has each team complete a 16-game schedule in 17 weeks, an 18th week will be added as a buffer for any games that were postponed amid the pandemic. If any games with playoff implications still remain after 18 weeks, the 16-team play-off plan would go into effect.
An original plan for a 16-team playoff would have seeded the teams by their record in the conference from best to worst. But a change Tuesday will make the division winners the top four seeds while categorizing the remainder of the field as wild cards.
That decision has a major impact on the NFC East, whose winner would get a top-four seed in the 16-team playoff plan, even though they could finish under .500. At issue was a scenario where eight NFC teams had a better record than the NFC East winner.