Correction To Compensatory Pick Question In Mailbag

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 22, 2011 – 6:15 am

I wanted to take a quick moment this morning to issue a correction to an answer in this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag. In the first question of this week’s MMM, Gideon asked a two-part question that dealt with the draft and, specifically, the compensatory selections the Vikings would receive in the 2011 NFL Draft.

I explained that we didn’t know the status of the Vikings compensatory selections because teams are awarded those selections based off of the results of free agency. And since free agency was delayed due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement impasse, we don’t have a way of knowing how many compensatory picks will be awarded to the Vikings.

The answer was partially true, but also partially inaccurate.

On Monday afternoon I noticed a tweet from Mike Reiss of that indicated the inaccuracy in the answer. Reiss tweeted that the NFL typically awards compensatory selections during the March owners’ meetings but that early word this year is the picks will be announced at a later date. To further confirm the inaccuracy in the Mailbag, I received a note from a reader pointing out that the compensatory selections are indeed based off of free agency movement but that it’s the free agency movement from the previous year.

Adam Warwas is the reader who pointed this out to me. He said in an email: “The Vikings are expected to get two picks (no better than 5th-rounders) for losing OL Artis Hicks and RB Chester Taylor while being quiet in free agency themselves. Again, these picks are based off of 2010′s free agency movement, and are expected to be awarded next week. The CBA unrest only has comp pick ramifications moving forward beyond this upcoming draft.”

After doing some research (research I should’ve done on Monday before answering the question!), I quickly realized that Adam is spot on. I also checked out Adam’s blog – – and he has some good stuff on there. I encourage readers of this blog to pay him a visit at his site as well.

More on compensatory picks
– Under terms of the CBA, 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 4.

– Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round (after the other compensatory picks).

– The compensatory choices supplement the selections in the 7 rounds of the draft, and the compensatory selections are added to rounds 3-7.

– Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player’s salary, playing time and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. Not every free agent lost or signed by a team is covered by this formula, which the NFL Management Council developed.

– If fewer than 32 compensatory picks are awarded, the balance of picks is awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical 8th round of the draft (these are known as “supplemental compensatory selections”).

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