Packers Could Theoretically Get Four Compensatory Draft Choices

If the Packers lose several free agents, as expected, the NFL could award them with up to four compensatory draft choices.

Piggybacking on yesterday's post predicting the future of the 15 Green Bay Packers scheduled to become free agents, I guessed that six of them with at least four years of service time would sign elsewhere next season: Cullen Jenkins, James Jones, Atari Bigby, Jason Spitz, Anthony Smith and Matt Wilhelm.

The likelihood that I'm perfect in my prediction is virtually slim to none. However, if I'm even in the correct neighborhood, it's possible that the Packers could receive the maximum four compensatory draft choices from the NFL for the 2012 Draft.

Some background information is warranted.

First of all, I'm working under the assumption that the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (whenever it's agreed upon) will be the same as the old CBA, which is no guarantee.

The way the compensatory draft choices are awarded are as follows: Teams that have more losses in free agency than gains are awarded draft choices from the NFL.

Even though the NFL Draft is seven rounds long, it is––in essence––eight rounds long because 32 compensatory draft choices are awarded every year.

Even though the formula for awarding such draft choices is a mystery, the blogger by the username AdamJT13 has basically figured it out and is able to predict fairly accurately the compensatory draft choices each team receives. I highly suggest reading through his blog for a more thorough explanation.

Theoretically, it works like this: If a team loses four free agents and signs none, they will get four draft choices in compensation. If they lose four and sign one, they'll get three draft choices in compensation. And so on.

The maximum number of draft choices a team can earn is four.

The highest round a team can get in compensation is a third round draft choice. All compensatory draft choices are at the end of the round.

The method for determining how high of a round the draft choices are in is basically determined by three things: the amount of the contract, playing time received and postseason awards.

Let's take Cullen Jenkins, for example. If he signs with another team for a very lucrative $10 million per season, plays a majority of the team's snaps and is named to the Pro Bowl next season, the Packers would almost surely be in line for a third-round draft choice in compensation.

However, there are low-end thresholds as well.

As AdamJT13 points out, the lowest signing known to earn a compensatory draft choice was for a one-year deal for $830,000.

Guys like Jenkins and Jones, if they sign with another team, almost certainly will sign for fairly lucrative contracts that should net mid-round draft choices.

If other, lower-end guys who might leave––such Bigby and Spitz––they would have to sign a contract averaging nearly $1 million per season if the Packers are going to receive compensation in return. Such signings probably only net a seventh round pick in return.

I'm also assuming the Packers don't sign any free agents this offseason either. Given Ted Thompson's history staying away from free agency, that's not much of a stretch. And considering the Packers have pretty decent depth regardless, it lends even more credence to that hypothesis.

As one final word of caution, there's one reason to believe that the rules might change with a new CBA, and that's because the rules have tended to favor the more successful teams in the NFL instead of less successful ones, which seems to go against the grain of a league that's obsessed with parity.

Last year the New England Patriots, one of the best teams in the NFL over the last decade, received the maximum four compensatory draft picks. Now I'm saying that the Super Bowl champion might get four as well.

If the NFL wants to create even more parity, it's possible the formula will be tweaked again as part of the new CBA.

And for those keeping score, this accumulation of draft choices could be viewed as another feather in the cap of general manager Ted Thompson and the way he does business.

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Comments (16)

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Wiscokid's picture

February 15, 2011 at 05:23 pm

You have to hand it to the Patriots. They've been playing this system like a bow fiddle. Despite being at the top of the league, they end up with more draft picks than anyone. Beside the compensatory picks, they seem to know when to jettison players when they still have good trade value but not many top tier years left, while stockpiling even more picks.

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WoodyG's picture

February 15, 2011 at 05:30 pm

And NE hasn't won a SB since season 2004 ..... Six seasons ....... In fact, they've only appeared in one since 2004 & lost ..... It won't be long before that's a ten year drought ....

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Wiscokid's picture

February 16, 2011 at 06:47 pm

That doesn't mean that they aren't doing things right. They are still competitive year in and year out. How you do in the draft is a big piece but not the only piece to winning a championship.

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asshalo's picture

February 15, 2011 at 07:06 pm

I can really appreciate you making predictions on this stuff. I never have a problem with anyone making predictions (even when they adversely affect my team), so long as the person giving them articulates their argument well-- which you do.

I have to believe they have a slight chance of getting a draft pick for Barnett and to lesser extent Flynn. I think Flynn stays and I worry about Barnett being released as well. I really like Thompson's ( and scouting's) chances when he stock-piles draft picks, whether he trades up or not. As most packer fans know, TT and co are MUCH more efficient in drafting talent than most, if not all, of the league.

My main concern is that free agency will be back-loaded until the summer and everyone will be in a mad rush to get people, leaving us vulnerable to releasing people rather than trading them (Barnett being the main bait). I wonder how they'll handle compensatory picks then-- wipe them out or prorate them to next year. Who knows.

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dgtalmn's picture

February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

I agree with the statement about free agency "next" year. It seems that there are quite a few players that will be in the market which will dilute it. There actually could even be some bargins.

But as stated, this is not the path for the Packers.

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Mike's picture

February 15, 2011 at 07:39 pm

I would actually be really surprised to see TT stay out of Free Agency this year. Its not like TT doesn't like Free Agency--he's brought in Pickett, Woodson, and Chillar through it. I think its just that he doesn't think a lot of the guys in the past few years have been worth their price.

This year, it'll be pretty different. There are so many Free Agents that there's bound to be a bargain somewhere for TT. Maybe a guy like Mathias Kiwanuka or Quentin Mikell or Charles Johnson who could be fantastic contributors but who won't break the bank too badly to get.

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jaydubya's picture

February 15, 2011 at 08:19 pm

Given the above metioned possibility, one only hopes that the Packers unsung scouting staff is again well chosen, and deservedly rewarded with appropriate incentives. It all starts there.

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Ruppert's picture

February 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

When do they announce the compensatory picks for next month's draft?

Anybody know what this blogger dude thinks we'll get for Aaron Kampman?

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Wiscokid's picture

February 16, 2011 at 06:42 pm

Next month is March.

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Tommyboy's picture

February 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I'm not sure Brian Carriveau sleeps. How many information-rich articles can one man dish out in 24 hours? He is not man, but beast...and needs no sleep. He is Brian Carriveau.

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Wiscokid's picture

February 16, 2011 at 06:52 pm

Brian has supplanted James Brown as the "hardest working man in show business".

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ZeroTolerance's picture

February 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Brian,

Thanks for expanding on a question I posed yesterday in another thread. I thought so. Glad to have provided fodder for a posting. Keep up the good work.

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Aa-rod_is_cool's picture

February 16, 2011 at 01:33 am

Am I the only one who reads Brian's posts in his accent?

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dgtalmn's picture

February 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

He has an accent? :) The first time I met my wife, she knew I was from the mid-west from my accent. Which of course I told her I do not have an accent, you do! She is from Texas.

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seekr's picture

February 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Oh ya.

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Scott in China's picture

February 16, 2011 at 06:51 am

+1

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