The NFL’s influential Competition Committee will start reviewing its 2024 agenda at the end of the month, but who will be at the table is an open question. For the past two seasons, the Competition Committee has had 4 coaches, the most that it has ever had. But three of those coaches have been fired from their teams: Frank Reich, Ron Rivera, and Mike Vrabel. (The fourth is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.)
The committee occasionally will keep a seat for a person who has been fired or resigned, but they are only on the committee in a nonvoting ex officio capacity. This is usually temporary. If the committee member is immediately hired by another team, then the tenure on the committee remains seamless.
The last coach to retain his position on the committee when he was hired by another team is Reich, who was fired by the Colts in 2022 and did not complete this season with the Panthers. Although not impossible, it would seem unlikely that Reich will land a coaching position that allows him to stay on the committee.
One other designation the three free-agent coaches have is they are all former NFL players. With Ravens executive vice president Ozzie Newsome, there were 4 former players on the committee, which is the highwater mark for the committee.
The current committee assignments took effect in August 2021, and while there is in-season business with the committee, its most prominent function is in the offseason to decide which rules and policy changes are placed before the owners for a vote. This current committee structure was in place for the past 2 offseason cycles. There are 10 members on the committee, which has varied between 8 and 10 members since 2001. The members of the committee, until any changes are announced, are Falcons president/CEO Rich McKay, Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, Giants owner John Mara, Newsome, Reich, Rivera, Tomlin, and Vrabel.
An interesting situation would occur if one of these coaches is hired by Atlanta. Since McKay is the chairman of the Competition Committee, it is unlikely he would rescind his seat for an incoming coach. Chairmanship infrequently changes hands, except for an 8-year period before McKay became chairman and also when McKay had a co-chairman. Since 1966 (when it was called the Rules Committee), the chairman of the committee has been either Tex Schramm (the longtime Cowboys executive before the Jerry Jones era) or McKay for 50 of those 58 years.
Image: Tennessee Titans photo