NFL plans to enact new enhancements to Rooney Rule ahead of next hiring cycle

NEW YORK -- The NFL plans to inform owners at the league's fall meeting Tuesday of new enhancements to the Rooney Rule for the upcoming hiring cycle, including mandating at least one in-person interview with an external minority candidate for head coach and general manager jobs, per sources.

The league has in recent years mandated multiple interviews with minority candidates from outside of the organization for top posts. But with teams embracing the shift to conducting initial interviews virtually, the NFL wants to make sure they spend more time with a diverse group, including in-person.

In May, owners tabled a proposal by the Buffalo Bills to delay the head coaching cycle, with interviews only after championship games and no hires until after the Super Bowl in February. That proposal failed to gain traction among owners and won't go to a vote at these meetings, sources say. But the hope is other changes, including the mandatory in-person interview with an external minority candidate, will have the same effect of slowing down the process and promoting diversity.

There were two minority head coaches hired in the last cycle -- the New York Jets' Robert Saleh, who is Lebanese, and the Texans' David Culley, who is Black. There also were three Black GMs hired: Washington's Martin Mayhew, the Lions' Brad Holmes and the Falcons' Terry Fontenot.

Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter@TomPelissero.

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