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Point of Veau: Grant & Flynn Have Compensatory Pick Value

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Point of Veau: Grant & Flynn Have Compensatory Pick Value

Compensatory draft choices are not the be all, end all factor in determining a player's worth to a team in the NFL, but they are one of the best indicators of success in the NFL.

That's why it's worth noting their omission in a couple articles published in the mainstream media regarding the future of a couple of players in Green Bay.

One article by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggested the Packers might consider keeping Dimitri Nance in favor of Ryan Grant.

The other was a column by Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal saying the Packers should not trade Matt Flynn.

The rationale of keeping Nance is not without merit. Nance's comparatively small salary and upside compared to Grant's much larger salary and perhaps not having much tread left on his tires makes it an interesting discussion.

But in the end, I think the Packers will go with Grant.

He's a tough short-yardage runner with a wealth of experience in the Packers offense and is also well-versed in pass protection,  not to mention he's a good locker room guy.

Nance, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as a player who the Packers simply cannot afford to expose to the waiver wire. He seems to have some nice skills, but he's not indispensable (like James Starks).

But what's gone unmentioned is the compensatory pick Grant could gain the Packers next season if he leaves as an unrestricted free agent.

If he stays healthy this season and is reasonably productive, he'll have value on the open market with some team willing to take a chance on him. And with James Starks, Alex Green and John Kuhn all under contract for the next couple seasons, the Packers can afford to let Grant walk.

What round the Packers get in compensation depends largely upon how big of a contract Grant would sign with his next team, and it's impossible to predict that right now.

Regardless, Grant's compensatory pick value should factor into any discussion about the Packers keeping him. And the same goes for Matt Flynn.

If the Packers don't sign Flynn to an extension this year, there's a good probability that he'll leave in free agency next season with the opportunity to become a starter somewhere in the NFL.

Playing time will come sparingly for Flynn this season, but if he happens to see any lengthy playing time and impresses like he did last season against New England, quarterback needy teams should be drooling over him.

It's not out of the question the Packers could get as high as a third round draft choice if he leaves in free agency in the form of a compensatory pick. Granted, that compensation wouldn't come until the 2013 draft.

The point being is, it would be inaccurate to say the Packers will get nothing in return if Flynn leaves via free agency.

In a way, it's hard to blame the writers for not including compensatory picks in their articles. The formula in which the NFL hands out picks is not public knowledge, so it's always difficult to speculate.

But it's becoming tough to deny the link between compensatory picks and success in the NFL.

Since compensatory picks were first awarded in 1994, the teams with the most amount of those types of picks are as follows: Baltimore (31), Philadelphia (29), Tennessee (27), Green Bay (26), New England (26) and St. Louis (26).

In that same time frame, those six teams have combined to win seven Super Bowls and six runner-up appearances.

There's not many greater predictors of success.

As the Packers and the Patriots continue to prove, the draft and develop method to team building is becoming one of the best ways to build a franchise.

For what it's worth, since the last time I wrote about compensatory picks, Atari Bigby and Anthony Smith have signed free agent contracts with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans respectively.

While those players have to make the 53-man roster for their respective teams in order for the Packers to be awarded compensation for their losses, it only makes it more likely that the Packers will receive the maximum number of compensatory picks in the 2012 Draft (four under the previous collective bargaining agreement).

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jeremy's picture

I've been thinking about this too, and there is value in the compensatory pick. The major drawback with the compensatory picks (besides having no idea what the value will be) is that teams have to wait basically a whole year before they are awarded. For instance if Flynn leaves at the end of the season the Packers won't get back a pick for him until the 2013 draft. In addition, if the Packers were to add a signifiant free agent (as if) they could loose out on the compensatory pick as well. If however, they trade Flynn to a team who lost their qb to a season ender around the trade deadline they can reap the rewards of a known pick in the 2012 draft. By that time they might know more about what Graham Harrell's future looks like, and if he is ready to win games if called upon.

PkrNboro's picture

Another major drawback is that the picks can't be traded.

It's like getting a gift card instead of cash.

Brian Carriveau's picture

I see why it's worth pointing it out, but I personally wouldn't classify that as a "major drawback."

JerseyAl's picture

"What round the Packers get in compensation depends largely upon how big of a contract Grant would sign with his next team"

Is that right, Brian? I don't know, I'm just asking... I thought it depended on how much they end up playing for their new team that first year. Is that incorrect?

I think I remember reading that if kampman hadn't gotten hurt and had played more, the Packers would have gotten a higher pick.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Their contract seems to be the biggest indicator of compensation, although playing time and post-season awards also seem to factor into the equation to a lesser extent.

Jmac34's picture

Yea Im pretty sure playing time is the second biggest indicator. Im pretty sure Kampmen would have been a third rounder last if he had not had that injury

Brian Carriveau's picture

I'm not sure I necessarily agree. Carolina received a third-rounder for losing Julius Peppers, whose contract dwarfed that of Kampman.

Jmac34's picture

I'm not saying Kampmen should have been before Peppers or anything but if he had played all year Kampmen may have been worth a third after Peppers. I believe the third round is the highst a comp pick can be awarded so Panther were going to get that for Peppers, who got a mammoth contract and played the whole year. So to sum it up, I think if Kampmen would have stayed healthy all year, he is worth a 3rd while Peppers was worth the highest pick possible which happened to be round three

Tarynfor 12's picture

Having compensatory picks have a more plus side.It can allow you to be more open to possibly trading with your regular picks.
But like any trade,it depends on who is doing the deal and with whom.

PkrNboro's picture

I thought that was a strange article by Silverstein -- not once did he mention that the Packers have already paid Grant a $1.75 million bonus.

In my mind, that makes him as much or more of a certainty than James Starks, Alex Green and John Kuhn.

Pay 1.75 mil to free up 3.5 mil? doesn't make sense to me. Grant was out; Starks wasn't on the scene yet -- we saw what BJAX and Nance could do, which wasn't much, IMO.

packeraaron's picture

"not once did he mention that the Packers have already paid Grant a $1.75 million bonus"

Because its included in his mention of Grant's $5.65 million salary cap number.

PkrNboro's picture

salary cap aside, if they cut Grant they get nothing in return for spending 1.75 mil -- usually teams will cut a player before paying their bonus.

packeraaron's picture

Read Caplan's report - "Grant has the same exact amount ($1.75 million) in bonuses due in the new contract, but it’s not known if the bonus structure is the same"

PkrNboro's picture

a link to Caplan's article...

Interesting, late-breaking news.

If the Packers are willing to take the time to re-neg contract, and Grant is OK with it -- I think it's even more likely he stays, and Nance goes...

packeraaron's picture

Grant was asked to give back a million in base salary the day he came to camp. He agreed right away.

TedTheSledge's picture

Wilde just reported Grant's agent said he was paid 1.25 mil at the start of the league year. I agree Nboro that whatever amount Grant had already received should have been stated by Tom in his article as that factors in greatly as to their plans for him in 2011.

Captain Lou's picture

It's also worth examining the number of teams that will be in the market for a new QB next off-season. A quick look suggests:
That isn't very many teams, plus there are at least three studs (Luck, Barkley, Jones) available in the draft. Is it really a fait accompli that Flynn will get a big offer?

TedTheSledge's picture

I have been tracking the compensatory angle myself and did the Nagler :: facepalm :: when Kevin harlan stated the Pack would get nothing for him if he left as FA. I agree comp picks are basically overlooked by media and fans alike. Even though you can't trade them if you are a team near the top and picking near the end of rounds you can trade your own and exercise the comps without moving all that far in the draft order. I especially like the idea of trading some of your own to future years hoping to improve them by a round or position within a round. Very important resource for a team to try to stay at the top.

TedTheSledge's picture

oops ... meant to say Harlan said that about Flynn during the Cardinals broadcast.

atheist4thecause's picture

I think we should trade Flynn. Even you say that we couldn't possibly predict what we could get for Flynn or Grant from a compensatory pick, and there's been talk that Flynn could go for a 2nd round pick in a trade. I'd rather have a guaranteed 2nd round pick with Harrell as my back-up over maybe a 3rd round pick (which I consider pretty unlikely that he would get that high of a contract) and have Flynn as my back-up. I especially like the idea of a mid-season trade where we can have Flynn back-up Rodgers for half the season before getting a 2ndish round pick.

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