NFL owners passed a resolution Wednesday that interviews for vacant head coaching positions in the NFL can commence over the final two weeks of the regular season, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.
Requests for interviews, which employer clubs are free to deny, can be sent beginning Tuesday, Dec. 28. The resolution also only is in effect for this season, essentially a one-year trial.
Only teams whose head coach at the beginning of the season is no longer in that position, or has been given notice that he will not return, are eligible to request these early, virtual interviews. As of now, only the Las Vegas Raiders qualify, as former coach Jon Gruden resigned in October and has since been replaced on an interim basis by special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.
As Pelissero noted, the resolution could incentivize clubs who've decided to part ways with a coach to do so at least two weeks before the end of the season, in order to take advantage of the opportunity.
In October at the NFL's Fall League Meeting, teams were sent a memo alerting them to adjustments to the Rooney Rule, which supports minority hiring practices. Those adjustments included the two-week window, as well as an increase in the number of external minority candidates required to be interviewed for hiring at the executive level, and coordinator positions.
The interview window opened early last year as well, but with just one day's notice.