The Green Bay Packers were awarded an extra pick in the third and fifth rounds of May's upcoming NFL Draft as a result of losing wide receiver Greg Jennings and linebacker Erik Walden in free agency last season, the league announced on Monday.
Each year the NFL gives 32 compensatory draft choices, the equivalent of one extra round, to teams that lose more free agents than they sign.
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.
Jennings essentially netted the third round pick after signing a five-year deal worth $45 million with the Minnesota Vikings. Walden garnered the fifth round draft choice after getting a four-year, $16 million deal from the Indianapolis Colts.
The Packers will receive the 34th pick of the third round (98th overall) and the 36th pick of the fifth round (176th overall). Compensatory draft choices cannot be traded.
Green Bay now has at least one draft choice in every round, two in the third and two in the fifth. The Packers also have seven picks in the first five rounds and nine overall.
The Packers are setting themselves up for a similar haul in next year's draft after losing wide receiver James Jones and offensive linemen Evan Dietrich-Smith and Marshall Newhouse as free agents. Because Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion were cut by their former teams, they do not count in the league's formula.
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."