Lets say for this exercise that we are done in Free Agency. The players we have signed as of Monday are it and we are going into the draft with signing TJ Ward, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, Emmanuel Sanders and re-signing Bubba Caldwell. I know that Adams wants to return, but lets say for argument's sake Elway and Company pass on him.
We have lost Decker to the Jets, Beadles to the Jags, DRC and Holliday to the Giants, Jeremy Mincey to the Cowboys and Woodyard to Tennessee. That's 6 signings of our free agents so far. Let's assume that Knowshon Moreno, Winston Justice, Steve Vallos, Robert Ayers, Shaun Phillips (I hope we can resign him to a minimum contract again, but I think it's wishful thinking), Mike Adams, Michael Huff, Quentin Jammer, Paris Lenon and Marquice Cole sign somewhere else. That's 10 more for a total of 16 losses in free agency. That's assuming Champ Bailey and Dan Koppen retire (which they may not).
According to Wikipedia:
In addition to the 32 selections in each of the seven rounds, a total of 32 compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have lost more or better compensatory free agents than they signed in the previous year. 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. 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. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.
All compensatory picks are awarded at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7.
If fewer than 32 such picks are awarded, the remaining picks are awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical eighth round of the draft (These are known as "supplemental compensatory selections").
Compensatory picks are awarded each year at the NFL annual meeting which is held at the end of March; typically, about three or four weeks before the draft.
The NFL does not make the formula they use to calculate compensatory picks public, so it's difficult to know just how this is going to play out.
According to several blogs I researched, the basic rules that affect compensatory picks are as follows:
1. Lost players that are cut or not tendered as RFAs or ERFAs do not qualify. Crap, there goes any compensation for Holliday.
2. Lost players that were picked up during the season the year before do not qualify. There goes Lenon, Justice and Mincey I believe.
3. Signed players that are released before midseason do not qualify.
4. Players earning low minimum salaries do not qualify. I'm thinking this includes Woodyard (who was on a rookie UDFA salary), Huff, Vallos, and Cole.
5. Each player signed cancels out one player lost.
6. The round of the pick awarded is primarily determined by the annual value of the contract signed. Signed players cancel out lost players with equal contracts, then lower contracts, before cancelling out higher contracts.
We lost DRC and signed Talib. I figure that's a probably a wash.
We lost Decker to the Jets and signed Sanders to replace him. The NFL will probably consider these two cancelling each other out.
We lose Adams but pick up T.J. Ward. No pick here.
We lose Beadles (technically a Pro Bowl player and signed for a nice, fat contract with the Jags) and replace him from within or in the draft. I see us getting a 4th or 5th round pick here.
We lose Phillips, Mincey and Ayers and sign up DeMarcus Ware. I think Phillips and Ware cancel each other out, but with Mincey (Cowboys) and Ayers (maybe the Bengals) getting nice contracts we ought to get picks. I think we picked up Mincey mid-season so he's out and I don't know what the NFL considers "low, minimum salaries". I don't know if we will get a pick for Ayers.
We lose Knowshon Moreno who was ranked12th in the league in rushing yards (1038) and tied for fourth in TDs (10). Assuming he gets a decent contract somewhere in FA and we don't sign a replacement I could see a low round compensatory pick here.
Losing Woodyard to the Titans and if we don't find a MLB in free agency to replace him, perhaps we could score another one here.
Free Agency is not over by a long shot but I had questions as to how this worked and this is what I came up with. I hope you find this information as interesting as I did.
Let me know what you think below.