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Packers Lose Five Free Agents, Could Gain Four Draft Choices As Compensation

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Packers Lose Five Free Agents, Could Gain Four Draft Choices As Compensation

With wide receiver James Jones and fullback John Kuhn re-signing with the Packers today, the free agent frenzy has died down, at least in Green Bay.

The Packers lost five free agents over the course of the past week: defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins, guard Daryn Colledge, running back Brandon Jackson, offensive lineman Jason Spitz and fullback Korey Hall.

Even though some of those losses are significant, the Packers figure to gain as many as four draft choices as compensation for free agent losses in 2012, just as I suspected they would back in February.

I know the NFL will continue to award compensatory draft choices as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, although I do not know if the formula has changed.

Although the NFL has never made their formula public, under the old system, teams were awarded draft choices for significant free agency losses based primarily upon the size of the contract, although the playing time and postseason awards they receive also seem to factor in to a lesser extent. The better Jenkins, Colledge, Jackson, Spitz and Hall play in 2010, the better chance of the Packers getting a higher draft choice.

In recent history, the Packers received an extra fourth-round draft choice for losing Aaron Kampman to the Jacksonville Jaguars last season and a fifth-rounder for losing Colin Cole to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.

In the past, teams could receive a maximum of four compensatory draft choices, and the Packers would seem to be a good bet to receive this upcoming season.

Guessing the round of compensation is an inexact science, but based upon prior picks awarded, I will try to make my best guesses as to who the Packers will receive, give or take a round:

  • Daryn Colledge, five-year, $27.5 million: Fifth round
  • Cullen Jenkins, five-year, $25 million: Fifth round
  • Brandon Jackson, two-year, $4.5 million: Seventh round
  • Jason Spitz and Korey Hall, unknown details: Seventh round

Should Atari Bigby, Matt Wilhelm or Anthony Smith sign with another team, the chances only become greater that the Packers will receive the full complement of four draft choices.

Compensatory draft choices are only awarded for free agent losses. If the Packers happen to sign a veteran free agent, it has the frequently has the effect of cancelling out one of the losses.

The Packers might have a need for depth at inside linebacker right now, but if they sign a free agent that figures into the compensatory equation, it's possible they might lose out on one of those draft choices.

However, keep in mind that players who are salary cap casualties do not count. Thus, the Packers will not get any compensation if Nick Barnett, Mark Tauscher, Brady Poppinga or Brandon Chillar sign somewhere else.

On the other hand, if the Packers were to sign a player like Seattle's Lofa Tatupu, who was likewise a salary cap release, he would not cancel out the Packers' free agent losses.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bryce's picture

only packer fans get excited about compensatory draft picks

BrianD's picture

TT does so much with em. How could we not!

bryce's picture

exactly man, that's what i'm talking about...i was thinking about them as soon as bjax signed with cleveland

ZeroTolerance's picture

And New England fans. Look what it has done for them.

asshalo's picture

Once again, Thompson will probably have 10+ draft picks heading into next April. I wonder if he can pull one more via a tag and trade for 2012...

I am not sure about tag rules with the new CBA, but with Finley, Sitton, Grant, and Nelson all being free agents next year, I would think Thompson would have a shot to maximize UFA value by tagging and immediately trading one of these guys. Finley immediately comes to mind. I would guess we would command at least a second round and possible more. That's better than the old maximum compensation of a 3rd rounder and it would come a year earlier with the tag.

asshalo's picture

With that many potential draft picks, it definitely gives them more firepower to move-up.

drew's picture

You can't trade compensatory picks.

asshalo's picture

Thanks, but when you have 11 picks, the majority of them aren't compensatory.

Kevin's picture

I don't know why people keep suggesting we trade Finley for a 2nd/3rd or even a 1st round draft pick. Finley is a complete monster and brings something unique to the Packers offense that D.J. Williams and Andrew Quarless won't be able to provide. If you think Rodgers was lobbying for Jones and Kuhn back, just wait until Finley hits FA. J-Mike is what you hope and dream that your first round draft picks become. Getting an unproven player, at a price that is still fairly high, makes no sense as opposed to keeping Finley. Maybe 1 out of 3 first rounders become players like Finley. With Thompson's eye always to the future, I have no doubt we'll be able to afford him (even if it means letting other good players leave.) If he stays at least relatively healthy (i.e., isn't dead or dying) I fully hope and expect Thompson to give him a nice juicy extension.

PackersRS's picture

Have you guys ever heard of that show Hoarders?

Brian Carriveau's picture


bryce's picture

i'd like to see what finley does before we start talking about trading him...if he's the next antonio gates then i think we'd better pay the man

MarkinMadison's picture

I think I want to see how Quarless develops. He's always been compared to Finley, so let's see if he can deliver. Either way, the Packers will need at least one great pass-catching TE to deal with that Eagles D for the next few years. I suspect that Mr. Nelson will be the odd man out next year, unless Driver defies expectations and goes into a serious decline.

ZeroTolerance's picture


A question. What is the scenario if Bigby, Wilheim, or Smith sign somewhere else - I mean, if they sign somewhere, say this week, they would be an URFA loss. But what if no one picks them up for a while? Say into the season. Surely there has to be some timeframe consideration?

Brian Carriveau's picture

Yeah, there's been a deadline in the past. I'm not sure what it is.

Jordan's picture

I guess you can call Nick Barnett salary cap casualty. But typically when a team does not even offer you a chance to come back at a lower salary......there's a little more to it.

I think it's a stretch to call Nick Barnett a salary cap casualty. So why not call it what it was. The Packers didn't want him at any salary.

And that was confirmed by Nick Barnett himself.

drew's picture

Why do you think we'll only get 5th rounders for Colledge and Jenkins who will likely be full time starters and signed decent contracts?

Brian Carriveau's picture

Just as a point of comparison, they didn't sign contracts quite as lucrative as Aaron Kampman, who got the Packers a fourth-round pick. Like I said, give or take a round. Having a good season and getting a lot of playing time will help their cases and maybe push them up a round.

ZeroTolerance's picture

So Bigby, Smith, and Wilheim won't really matter much anyway.

MarkinMadison's picture

Jenkins could have a whale of a season in Philly.

Nerd's picture

Forreal, at some point we're gonna be wasting these picks. How many holes does this team have? Not many. If we could nab a ROLB in the first round, maybe that would be helpful. But where else are we gonna put a new player? What opportunities are there to make the team?
Ted might have to start trading up for fewer picks!

MarkinMadison's picture

I put a pretty long post on the TT article yesterday. To sum up, look for TT to spend a 1st or 2nd rounder on a new #2 QB next year.

seekr's picture

Hopefully we don't get another Brian Brohm.

Duke's picture

Packers are losing a lot depth That's what made the difference last year. They lost a lot of talent for future 4th round picks. Does not look good. Getting thin and cocky

PackerAaron's picture

Huh? They were so thin last year they had to go get Erik Walden and Howard Green.

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