There is a sense of confidence in those early phases

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"I have never felt that a vibe like this earlier," said one prominent agent. "I think Goodell has put the hammer down and these groups are getting the message."

Before Graves has broached the topic of pushing all hires back until after the Super Bowl to try to level the playing field for this in and beyond the match, giving the rules that govern the game. However, numerous coaches and GMs being let go in-season this past year -- creating a more robust cycle of interviews while games were still being played -- is a lively that also could foster diversity.

"The early decisions being made by owners, in a bid to have a head start, may become more of a trend moving ahead," Graves explained.

Obviously, this is not about just one hiring cycle, or a single blip. It's about a path correction in the way owners think and operate. And Graves wants to enlarge the scope of the thinking into all facets below the NFL's umbrella: NFL Films, NFL Media, and all ventures of the sort. He, and many others, wish to see the exact same management-level opportunities provided in those ventures also, and is currently working on a demonstration to that end for its spring meeting in March.

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