Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Feb 2017

NFL Announces 32 Compensatory Draft Choices to 16 Clubs

The NFL has announced the compensatory picks in the 2017 draft based on 2016 free agency losses. Big winners this year are the Bengals, Browns, Broncos, and Chiefs, who get four extra draft picks each. The Seahawks also deserve notice -- they only get two compensatory picks, but both are in the third round. They are the only team with two third-rounders.

Starting this year, compensatory picks can also be traded, so this is potentially a big story for all teams.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 24 Feb 2017

7 comments, Last at 27 Feb 2017, 2:22pm by Noah Arkadia


by Pen :: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 8:52pm

Looks like the NFL saw right through Denver's attempt to drop Okung's value by announcing they wouldn't renew after one year. The NFL still decided that the contract was four years 48 mil and charged them the third rounder. I'd be interested in seeing if Denver now attempts to resign him. The end result is no different than if they'd renegotiated, except now he can go to the highest bidder, which weakens their bargaining power. They were obviously willing to risk that in exchange for only losing a 5th rounder, but that gamble backfired. Denver probably isn't too happy with the NFL's decision.

by Theo :: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 10:21pm

I never understood these compensatory picks.
Why would the NFL 'see through' an announcement? Aren't compensatory picks determined on contracts given to the FA?

by Pen :: Sat, 02/25/2017 - 12:40pm

If they look at the signing as a 1 yr deal, then they'd have given up a 5th rd pick for Okung. However, it was a 4 yr deal that Denver most likely always intended to renegotiate after the first year. Denver had the option for the next three years but they didn't take it in the hopes of only having to give away a 5th pick for Okung. The NFL saw it differently, based the compensation on Okung being worth a 4 yr deal - because Seattle would have had to match Denver's 4 yr. offer to sign Okung the year Denver signed him. Denver basically took a one year flyer on Okung for 8 mil, while tying him up for four years as far as anyone else hoping to make an offer on him (Seattle) was concerned. The NFL saw through this charade and said no, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

by Vincent Verhei :: Sat, 02/25/2017 - 5:23pm

I think you're right about the contract details, but you're wrong about the picks process. The NFL isn't taking away a pick from Denver and giving it to Seattle. They're adding picks and giving them out to teams that suffered net losses in talent through free agency. But it's not like the Broncos are being punished here.

by Jeff M. :: Sun, 02/26/2017 - 2:26am

Intent is not to punish Denver, but the effect is more or less to take away a 3rd from Broncos and give it to Seahawks. If Okung had been counted as a cheap one-year deal, Denver would have gotten an extra 3rd-round comp for Osweiler (and Seahawks would have gotten a 5th for for Sweezy). Since they counted the full APY Okung canceled out the Osweiler pick (and Broncos got a 7th for Davis instead).

So the net effect of the decision (which is the right one IMO--all NFL contracts are fictions anyhow and it shouldn't make a difference whether it's listed as a team option or simply as unguaranteed future base salaries) is to take a 3rd away from Denver (and add a 7th) and give a 3rd to Seattle (and take away a 5th).

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/26/2017 - 7:19pm

I don't get the above thread at all. Nobody lost any draft picks. Teams just didn't get what they thought they would get. It does sound like Denver may still get another pick next year depending on what Okung is worth on the open market if they just chose not to exercise an option. NE did that recently with Revis.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 2:22pm

They're saying Denver "lost" a pick in that they failed to gain one because of Okung. And that if Denver had gained that pick, then Seattle wouldn't have got theirs. I don't know how compensatory picks are awarded, but it sounds reasonable.