With the NFL owners meetings underway this week, we'll likely hear the announcement of compensatory selections for the 2015 NFL Draft.
The NFL's 'official' formula for determining which round and number the picks will take place is not made public. However, many blogs and publications have been able to come close to accurately projecting picks each year.
With the picks typically awarded during the owner's meetings, here are the rules and formula explanation based on how the previous years have played out and the latest projections.
Rules and Formula
Compensatory picks are based on the salary, playing time and postseason honors of the free agents each team lost during the previous offseason. For example, the Detroit Lions should receive one of the top compensatory picks after losing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins this offseason. That's mostly due to the massive contract he signed, but the fact Suh was named the Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro also helps.
There are only 32 compensatory picks handed out each year, and they cannot be traded. You can eventually trade the player a compensatory pick is spent on (i.e. the Packers trading Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle), but the pick itself cannot be traded.
All 32 NFL teams are allowed up to four compensatory picks, and they're only awarded to clubs that signed fewer players than they lost via free agency. That does not include players cut, players released after signing the year before or players making the league minimum.
An example would be the Bengals losing Jermaine Gresham (when he signs somewhere), Marshall Newhouse (signed by Giants) and possibly Taylor Mays and Terence Newman. If all four of those guys were to sign elsewhere, the Bengals could earn compensatory picks based on how much they sign for.
Looking at Newhouse, the Bengals are projected to receive a seventh-round pick based on the contract he signed with the Giants, per Over the Cap. That's because Cincinnati lost him via free agency, and the players they've signed thus far (A.J. Hawk, Michael Johnson) were cut this offseason, thus, they don't take away from possible compensatory picks the Bengals may get.
You wouldn't think there were many, if any all-time greats that were compensatory picks, but you'd be gravely mistaken.
Packers All-Pro guard Josh Sitton, Seahawks Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, Saints all-time receiver Marques Colston and future hall-of-famer Tom Brady were all compensatory draft selections.
Other former compensatory selections include QB Matt Hasselbeck, S Pat Tillman, WR Pierre Garcon, S Antoine Bethea, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, LB Mike Vrabel and QB Aaron Brooks.
Needless to say, the extra picks teams get in the latter rounds of the draft can just as easily be franchise-changing picks like any other pick.
The guys at Over the Cap are some of the best at projecting compensatory picks each year. Here are their latest projections:
|Compensation over 32-pick limit; not awarded|