How do compensatory picks work?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I've seen some questions out there asking about compensatory picks so I figured I'd do a little research on the subject.

Before getting into it, I envisioned the allotment of compensatory picks much like a meeting of the "Stonecutters." The league owners and officers get together for a big shindig where they eat and drink their asses off while wearing giant hats and cult-like robes before addressing the sacred parchment and doling out the picks. Order is based on the number of your exec, case closed right?

Well sort of, and it could still be a lot like that because the league does not release the formula it uses to determine compensatory picks to the public. After some hard work googling from yours truly I happened on a source that seemed legit. For the full explanation of the mystical phenomena known as the compensatory pick, check out this post.

For our purposes, these folks have put together a list of rules that seem to provide a basis for solid prognostications.

- Lost players that are cut or not tendered as RFAs and ERFAs do not qualify

- Lost players that were picked up during the season the year before do not qualify

- Signed players that are released before midseason do not qualify

- Players earning low minimum salaries do not qualify

- Each player signed cancels out one player lost

- 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 canceling out higher contracts.

These rules filter which players and transactions qualify. When you boil it down, if a team loses more FA than it resigns, it will be awarded a compensatory pick. The value of which is a whole different pandora's box I'm not interested in opening.

Let us start by identifying which players qualify. Broncos have not lost any tendered players (RFA Chris Harris, Mitch Unrein....ERFA Tony Carter, Duke Ihenacho, Brandon Marshall).

Guys like Jeremy Mincey or Winston Justice wouldn't count because they were picked up during the season in 2013.

Can't think of any players that were cut midseason...but Champ Bailey being being cut will also disqualify him from bringing the Broncos any compensation if he happens to sign elsewhere.

Trindon Holliday was an ERFA tender in 2013 so I would count that as a "minimum contract." So would Steve Vallos who signed a minimum contract. In other words we won't receive any compensation for losing either of them.

Which of our UFA remain unsigned?

Mike Adams- unsigned

Robert Ayers- unsigned

Steward Bradley - unsigned

Michael Huff - unsigned

Quentin Jammer - unsigned

Paris Lenon - unsigned

Knowshon Moreno - unsigned

Shaun Phillips - unsigned

Which UFA have signed elsewhere???

Zane Beadles (5 yrs, 30 million)

Eric Decker (5 yrs, 36.25 million)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (5 yrs, 35 million)

Wesley Woodyard (4 yrs, 16 million)

Which UFA have we signed???

T.J. Ward (4 yrs, 22.5 million)

Aqib Talib (6 yrs, 57 million)

DeMarcus Ware (3 yrs, 30 million)

Emmanuel Sanders (3 yrs, 15 million)

Bubba Caldwell (2 yrs, 3.5 million)

Admittedly, I'm unsure how the Bubba Caldwell situation works. He's not exactly a loss but he was an UFA before signing a new deal.....will be important to remember this down the road.

Will the 2015 Denver Broncos receive any compensatory picks?

As of right now we have the same amount of losses as we do acquisitions (Bubba Caldwell aside). By the end of free agency, we will be looking at losing a couple more free agents lost than we added...which means the Broncos would qualify for a compensatory pick. As to whether or not that pick would be a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th rounder only "The Chosen One" could tell you.

I hope that clears things up a bit about one of the most cloudy subjects surrounding the CBA. Now that you have this information you may shed "The Stone of Shame" and attach "The Stone of Triumph."

GO BRONCOS!!!

1. Lost players that are cut or not tendered as RFAs and ERFAs do not qual

2. Lost players that were picked up during the season the year before do not qualify.

3. Signed players that are released before midseason do not qualify.

4. Players earning low minimum salaries do not qualify.

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 canceling out higher contracts.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/red_zone/2014-NFL-compensatory-pick-projections.html#QYhxFZOMsmhVq3gJ.99
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