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Addition by Subtraction: Packers Could Get Draft Choice for Losing Walden

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Addition by Subtraction: Packers Could Get Draft Choice for Losing Walden

Linebacker Erik Walden. Photo by Corey Behnke of Cheesehead TV.

Heading into the start of free agency, attention in Green Bay has been the landing spot of wide receiver Greg Jennings. Or the potential of signing a marquee name like running back Steven Jackson.

Meanwhile, media attention on linebacker Erik Walden was almost nil. It didn't matter whether it was the newspapers, televisions, talk radio or blogs, nobody was talking about Walden.

There was more attention on losing fellow linebacker Brad Jones as a free agent. While everyone was focused on whether the Packers might sign Chris Canty or Cullen Jenkins, Walden flew under the radar.

And that's why Walden's signing of a four-year deal worth $16 million with the Indianapolis Colts (as reported by Bob McGinn of JSOnline) caught everyone by surprise. This is the same guy who signed a one-year deal with the Packers for just $700,000 one year prior.

The best news about losing Walden from a Packers perspective is that they'll likely receive a draft choice for losing Walden, something that even Ted Thompson didn't expect coming into Wednesday.

Receiving a draft choice isn't guaranteed, and it's a year delayed. If the Packers were to receive a compensatory draft choice for the loss of Walden, it would come in 2014, not 2013.

In order to receive a draft pick for Walden, the Packers must lose more free agents than they gain. In a press release from last year, the NFL explained the compensatory draft choice formula in general terms:

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.

According to these rules, that's why the Packers received the maximum number of compensatory draft choices last year. They received four draft picks for losing Cullen Jenkins, Daryn Colledge, Brandon Jackson, Jason Spitz and Korey Hall the year after the Super Bowl.

The Packers received two extra fourth-round picks and two extra seventh-round picks for losing these players. It was partially because of this influx of draft picks that allowed the Packers to trade up three times in the 2012 Draft, acquiring Casey Hayward, Jerel Worthy and Terrell Manning.

A very similar situation is likely to play out this year because last year the Packers lost Matt Flynn and Scott Wells in free agency and only signed Jeff Saturday. There's some question whether Saturday will even count in the draft pick formula, because of speculation that players over a certain age don't factor into the equation.

The NFL has never publicly stated the exact formula for compensatory draft choices, but has said that "Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula."

So what will the Packers gain by losing Walden? Based upon his salary paying him approximately $4 million per season, the Packers could probably get a sixth round draft choice in 2014, depending upon those other factors like playing time and postseason honors.

If Walden were to be a Pro Bowler in 2013, the chances improve that the Packers could net as much as a fifth-round pick. But on the other hand, if Walden were barely to see the field, it could bump down to a seventh-round pick.

Of course, this all assumes the Packers don't sign any unrestricted free agents. The moment they go out and sign a guy like Steven Jackson in free agency, it would negate the loss of Walden, and the Packers wouldn't receive anything.

Free agency isn't over. If players like Jennings or Jones happen to sign with another team, they'll factor into the comp pick formula as well.

So when deciding to sign any free agents whether it's Jackson or Peyton Hillis or anyone else, the Packers have to decide whether the benefit of adding them outweighs the potential of receiving a draft pick in 2014.

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (43) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

redlights's picture

In regards to Saturday, GB is screwed.

“Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.

So GB overpays; benches too late; and the fans vote him into the Pro Bowl. That should significantly increase his value.

On the other hand, by losing Walden, we still avoid bigger losses than if we'd only sign Jackson or whomever. The more value that the player brings to his next team, the better it is for the Packers.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Actually, because of his age, there's a chance Saturday won't even count in the formula. I can't say that with certainty, because the NFL doesn't publish the formula, but I believe precedent has been set with players over 35 not counting int he equation.

Stroh's picture

I've never heard the age of the player being in thedeterminstion of comp picks. We need cconfirmation on that.

David's picture

I read that players that were cut from their team do not count in the calculation. Saturday was cut from Indy so he should not count, just like if Woodson were to sign somewhere else the Packers would not get anything for him.

DrewTheDraftGuru's picture

It's my understand that an older player like Saturday would count against the team that picked him up but not for the team that lost him.

I'm just happy Walden is gone, I don't have to see him on the field anymore, and we somehow will probably end up getting compensation for him. What a terrible move by the Colts.

Rocky70's picture

Just what GB needs, more low round future draft choices. --- Examine TT's draft record over the last 25 players & 3 years. ---- It's not good.

Next year at this time:
TT, MM & hot seat.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Solid analysis.

Rocky70's picture

You would know.

mark's picture

So the team that goes to the playoffs every year, the team that is young and deep, a team that was recently had a 15-1 regular season and a Super Bowl win...the guys running the show somehow aren't getting it done?

Rocky, you need to realize some things...

It is VERY hard to win in the NFL. Even if you do everything right, there are still injuries and 31 other teams trying to beat you. Favre only won 1 Super Bowl. Peyton only won 1 Super Bowl. Marino won 0. Teams like the Vikings, Bills, Charges, Falcons, Bengals and Seahawks have never won a Super Bowl. The Lions, Browns and Texans have never even been to a Super Bowl.

Granted, we come from Titletown--we're the best and we expect more. But Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have put this team in a position to contend almost every year. To suggest they aren't doing their job is flat-out laughable.

Troll on my friend, troll on...

Rocky70's picture

Win for awhile & somehow you will always win.--- Absurd.

Woodson, Collins, Jenkins, Clifton, Wells, Barnett --- Add Grant, B. Jackson, Flynn & soon to be an ex-Packer Jennings. All gone & none have been adequately replaced except the addition of R. Cobb through the draft.

Don't misunderstand. Some of the above needed to move on. ---- However, it's TT's job to find replacements. ---- He hasn't.

John's picture

Rocky are you from the same planet?

Scott's picture

What did he say in this box that isn't true?

mark's picture

And the draft record?

It's pretty terrible with DROY candidate Heyward, Cobb--one of the best young players in the NFL, Bulaga one of the best young tackles, Mike Daniels who basically won the Detroit game with the fumble recovery TD, Starks who without him we don't win a Super Bowl, and oh yeah, starters like Neal, Burnett, DJ Smith, House, Newhouse...

And surely Ted should have known Perry, Worthy, Sherrod and Quarless would get hurt! How did he not see that coming?

And of course the book is closed on all those guys--and Terrell Manning, Jerron McMillan and Datko.

And how about that Dezman Moses? What a bum.

This year Ted needs to wise up and draft only Marvel Avengers: Thor, Superman, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man...

Rocky70's picture

You win with talent. --- Not hopes & dreams.

John's picture

Rocky read what Mark said and learn

Rocky70's picture

What mark posted is what he hopes, not what he knows. Cobb is the only impact player in his entire post. (that's out of 17 names). --- The rest are projects, hurt or destined to have short NFL careers.

GB needs more than just AR, CM3 & RC.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Where is this talent you think everyone else finds but not the Packers, Rocky?

Do you have solutions instead of just bitching about everything?

If you don't see the folly in paying a guy like Erik Walden $16 million, no one here can help you.

Rocky70's picture

Why is it that offering diverse opinions is complaining?

You 'homers' need to visit more sites to clue you in on other opinions. My opinions are mild compared to some that presently are floating around the net.

Do a search & learn something. (BTW, FYI, I never once mentioned Walden. Attention to detail is preferred.)

Denver's picture

While I pretty much hate 'homers' BS more than anything, I will say that IMO if the Pack don't make the playoffs next season or make them only to get blown out again then someone's seat should get a little warm.
TT will never get fired, but I could see him hanging it up if things went south.

Stroh's picture

Rocky. Most of us make sense. You don't seem to have that concept nor an idea how hard it is to win a SB when all the rules help the teams that suck.

Rocky70's picture

Another homer excuse.
"It's hard to win." --- LOL.

Stroh's picture

Rocky... all you do is spew negatity and complains about this and that. You never have a positive thing to say much less anything constructive!

Rocky70's picture

Thanks for reading all my posts over the past several years. --- I try to be informative & even a little entertaining at times. (And I use proper English, punctuation & spelling -- Try it sometime)

Stroh's picture

You give yourself way more credit than you deserve. I haven't been here very long, its just hard to wade thru your crap to get to the comments that make sense!

Bugeater's picture

Umm, Captain America uses a 'performance enhancing substance' and Batman just has come off a broken back and a knee injury. And I'm CERTAIN the 49ers get Superman...poor Ted will prolly only be able to make an offer to that guy with the bow & arrow.

peteo's picture

your an idiot

Mike's picture

Here we go again - we are left saying, "Walden could help us...next year..."

Brian Carriveau's picture

What is that supposed to mean?

Jamie's picture

Nice of Rocky to stop by and poop on the mini-parade.

Yeah, Rocky, you didn't mention Walden...you just cried about a potential pick received by his signing being a waste. Friggin coward...

Look man, if you have problems speaking your mind in the real world, that's your problem. Don't dump your crap here...keep it in your diaper where it belongs.

Back here in the real world, player performance isn't based solely on their abilities. Opportunity and coincidentally injury play a huge part. This team's identity over the last few years has been significantly affected by injury...up and down the roster. Many of these injuries have been to young players which has stunted their growth.

For example:

Perry, Sherrod, Burnett, Neal, Green, each missed most or large chunks their first and/or second year. That's two 1st rounders, a 2nd, and two 3rds, all of whom did not have a significant injury history at the college level. All, other than Sherrod (because we haven't seen much from him yet) have shown enough flashes to indicate they can be difference makers on this team. You essentially discount everything about them because they are not immediate stars...regardless of injuries.

Let's also not discount that Nelson, Bulaga, Jennings, Matthews, Woodson, Bishop, Shields all missed significant time last season...with most guaranteed back and healthy (to start the offseason), and two others likely back soon.

Scrutinize all you want, but leaving major parts of the story out makes you look like a bigger idiot than you already are.

Derty Ernie's picture

You kind of danced next to the issue. All these people you mentioned were also passed over at least once if not twice (twice) third rounders by 31 other teams. Sure some of them had other needs but what of those that had the same needs and passed.
What are they seeing talent and health wise that Ted aint?:

Jamie's picture

Holy geezuz You. Are. Clueless.

BeddarCheddar's picture

Maybe Derty has a point... If Ted only drafted first rounders, we wouldn't be having this problem of needing to take other teams' rejects. I say Ted should aim to get this team of ours to the point where we have the #1 draft pick every year...I've had about enough of us always having to wait til the end of the rounds before we get to pick.

Evan's picture

No one can seriously be this stupid...I sincerely hope you're just trolling. The alternative is just too sad.

BeddarCheddar's picture

I actually was trying to be funny. This whole thread is pretty exasperating...between Cow and Rocky and this guy ( who knows, maybe he was joking too...let's hope ), I seriously don't understand what the problem is. Do they expect that every player we have is going to be a pro bowler? Even if that were possible through some sort of multi-draft miracle, it would be impossible from a financial side of things. Look at the problems we are having keeping under the cap with just Rodgers, Matthews, and Raji due for huge paydays.

I think it goes back to the discussions on this site from this time last year about having a core group of players that you pay and build around, and then cycle guys through around them who are good role players, but not superstars. I think that is what the GB front office is doing, and that sure beats the alternative of going on a spending spree virtually every year like the Redskins, going 11-12 years without making the playoffs, and winding up with high draft picks nearly every year.

And while I'd prefer to have GB do nothing but win Super Bowls, I'm pretty fine with them being a solid enough team to at least be in the conversation for the Super Bowl each year and make deep playoff runs more years than not.

Rocky70's picture

@ Jamie

The excuses never end.
Will you have enough excuses to explain a down year in season 2013?
Better start your list now.

Jamie's picture

Wow...you truly live in a warped and jaded world. I am sad for anyone that has to deal with you on a regular basis.

The facts listed above should be taken into context with all other available pieces of information. They are part of the complete picture.

Ignoring them, or dismissing them as 'excuses', is small minded, ignorant, and naive...any way you cut it.

Rocky70's picture

You should seriously consider using only ONE identity. Stroh, mark & now Jamie again. --- Sad. --- (...) gives you away everytime.

packeraaron's picture

Rocky - every year you predict a "down year" during the offseason. Every year the Packers have a winning season. Maybe, just maybe, the Packers aren't in the dire straits you think they are.

Are there needs? Of course. But it's not like they're any more in need of talent than most teams.

Rocky70's picture

Come on. --- You have to admit that for the 1st time in several years the Pack are losing talent & it's not being replaced.

Woodson, Collins, Wells, even B. Jackson, Grant, GJ, Flynn, Clifton, etc.
The replacements are either hurt, projects or completely unproven.

I like Cobb & Hayward, so far. Still waiting on the rest. (I mean, Boykins for GJ?? Even Ross for DD - a joke -- Newsome?? He's a liability who's only going to get AR destroyed)

You're absolutely wrong about my negativity. I picked GB to win the North last year even after a 2-3 start (Many bailed -- I didn't). I'm not feeling anything close to that (for 2013) at the moment.

Mike778's picture

Odds on a team reaching the play-offs 4 years in a row. In the region of 1 in 81. That's the true measure of how good a GM is.

And if you want to put it all down to Rodgers then who picked him when the vast majority of the fan-base hoped he wouldn't ?

Who needs excuses ?

peteo's picture

In Ted we trust or go root for the bears Rocky your an idiot

Imran's picture

We should be grateful for having TT. I would rather have TT than GMs who trade and over pay for Kolb, Flynn and Cassel. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has their flaws and share of mistakes. I can also sit here and point out the other 31 GMs mistakes to you to counter your argument. How come Patriots cant get their D back to 2000-2004 level? Why havent they found a replacement for Randy Moss? Why hasnt MiamI replaced Dan Marino? Why did Parcells take Long over Ryan? Why take Alex Smith over Rodgers. Can go on forever.

Imran's picture

It is so easy to no believe in something. It is so easy to be a critic. If your so great, then please PUT IN AN APPLICATION FOR PACKERS GM! Guys like u cant handle disappointment. U call yourself a fan but bring down all the others around you. It must feel so good to tell everyone they are wrong and I told you so. I am a genius like you cuz I told myself Packers weren't the best team last year. I also predicted the Browns wouldn't make the playoffs too. And we are sorry about my grammar. We didnt know we got graded on forums.

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