While his playing days are over, Birk is still in the NFL. The league announced Thursday that Birk has been hired as director of football development.
Birk served an intermediary between the league and the players last year, working as an NFL-NFLPA appeals officer who would hear appeals to NFL-imposed suspensions of players. His new role with the league will be pretty wide-ranging. He will work in developing the game at all levels, including players, coaches and front office personnel.
He not only will assist in game-day operations around the league, he will also play a significant role in the administration of the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, regional combines throughout the country and the college all-star games that include the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game.
“I’m very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career,” Birk said in a statement released by the league. “It’s a real honor for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways.”
Birk becomes the eighth former player to take a job with the NFL office for development of the game, a group that includes Merton Hanks, Dwight Hollier, Patrick Kerney, James Thrash, David Tyree, Troy Vincent and Charles Way.
Birk’s job description will also include a lead role in the league’s Career Development Symposium, which advises players how to invest and save their earnings from the NFL, the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program, and the NFL-NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy. In addition, he will serve as a liaison for the NFL’s football operations on developing the NFL game internationally, as well as strengthening the NFL High School Player Development program.
As ambitious as Birk’s job description will be, Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said the league is pleased to have a man of Birk’s character joining up with them to promote and strengthen the long-term success of the game.
“Matt’s experience as a terrific NFL player, a model citizen in his community and as a forward-thinking leader make him ideally suited for this role,” Vincent said. “There is no doubt he will continue to make a positive impact on our game and be a trusted advocate for those who play and coach at every level.”
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.