Carmen Policy (born January 26, 1943) is an attorney and American football executive best known for his work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s and 1990s. He also led the Cleveland Browns until he sold his minority ownership stake in 2004.[1]

Carmen Policy
Personal information
Born: (1943-01-26) January 26, 1943 (age 76)
Youngstown, Ohio
Career information
Career history
As administrator:
Career highlights and awards


A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Policy graduated in 1963 from Youngstown University.[2]

NFL careerEdit

San Francisco 49ersEdit

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Policy joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1983 as vice president and counsel. In 1991, he became president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers and played a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl victories in 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995. In 1994, he was named the National Football League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly, as voted on by NFL owners and executives. The Sporting News and GQ also named him one of the "Most Influential People in Professional Sports".

His partnership with 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo ended in the late 1990s due to "mistrust and front-office power plays".[3]

Cleveland BrownsEdit

He was involved with the current incarnation of the Cleveland Browns. While serving as President and CEO of the Browns, Policy served as a member of the NFL Business Ventures Committee as well as the Super Bowl Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Market Advisory Group. He also served as a member of the NFL Finance Committee. Policy stepped down as president and CEO of the Cleveland Browns on May 1, 2004.[4]

Los AngelesEdit

In 1994, then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue appointed Policy and owners Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers and Pat Bowlen of the Denver Broncos to "negotiate on behalf of the NFL" for the Oakland Raiders to play in a proposed stadium in Hollywood Park. However, the deal fell through and owner Al Davis moved the team back to Oakland.[5]

Carmen Policy was hired by the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers) on May 18, 2015, to lead their efforts in building a stadium in Carson, California.[5][6] He was the headman of the Carson stadium project until the St. Louis Rams (now the Los Angeles Rams) moved back to Los Angeles on January 12, 2016.

Denver Broncos ownership disputeEdit

In 2019, the NFL announced that Policy would lead an arbitration effort to settle an ongoing dispute regarding the ownership of the Denver Broncos, the dispute being between the trustees who run the team—Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and local attorney Mary Kelly—and two of owner Pat Bowlen's daughters, Amie Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace.[7] The announcement of Policy's involvement was made by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the annual league meeting held in March 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.[8]


Policy and his wife Gail endowed the Carmen and Gail Policy Clinical Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center, which promotes advocacy of civil rights issues. His son, Ed Policy, is the current Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Green Bay Packers and former Deputy Commissioner of the Arena Football League, taking over in an interim basis after Commissioner David Baker stepped down two days before the ArenaBowl in 2008. His other son, James Policy, is an orthopedic surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center specializing in pediatric spine surgery.

After he retired from the NFL in 2004, Policy has focused on developing his Casa Piena vineyards in Yountville, California.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mike Tobin (October 13, 1999). "Charmed". SF Weekly.
  2. ^ Randy Perry; Terence McHale (Winter 2007). "In the Middle of the Magic: Carmen Policy and the 49ers Dynasty" (PDF). California Conversations. pp. 9–21.
  3. ^ Michael Silver (August 3, 1998). "What Went Wrong Having built the 49ers dynasty, Carmen Policy and Eddie DeBartolo saw their partnership crumble under the weight of mistrust and front-office power plays". Sports Illustrated.
  4. ^ Tom Withers (April 10, 2004). "Cleveland Browns' Carmen Policy to step down as president, chief executive officer on May 1". Amarillo Globe News.
  5. ^ a b c Sam Farmer (May 18, 2015). "Chargers, Raiders add heavy hitter Carmen Policy to Carson stadium bid". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Vincent Bonsignore (June 10, 2015). "Q&A with Carmen Policy, who makes a persuasive case for NFL stadium in Carson". Los Angeles Daily News.
  7. ^ Ryan O'Halloran (26 March 2019). "Former NFL executive Carmen Policy selected by league to get involved in Broncos ownership dispute". The Denver Post. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ Daren Gantt (26 March 2019). "NFL appointed Carmen Policy to arbitrate Broncos ownership dispute". Retrieved 27 March 2019.