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Compensatory picks in!

Lee Long©

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PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Two AFC North also-rans, the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, were awarded the most compensatory picks in this year's draft.

The Ravens (5-11) and Bengals (7-9) each received four picks, beginning in the third round of the April 26-27 draft. Those picks are slotted at the end of each of the last five rounds.

Baltimore lost four compensatory free agents in 2007, including star linebacker Adalius Thomas to New England, and didn't sign any. Cincinnati lost five such free agents, the best of which was guard Eric Steinbach, who signed with Cleveland.

Only Washington, which was given the top compensatory selection, 96th overall (33rd in the third round), Cincinnati (97th), Atlanta (98th) and Baltimore (99th) got extra choices in the third round.

In all, 15 teams were awarded compensatory picks. Washington, Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia each got three selections. Receiving two were Buffalo, Carolina and Miami. Getting one apiece were Atlanta, Green Bay, St. Louis, San Diego, Tennessee and the New York Giants.

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londonfalcon (4/1/2008)
Great news, an extra third could really help us - we have picked up a few gems in the third round over the last few drafts.

One guy in TATF was accusing McKay of deliberatly screwing up ourcomp picks, I doubt McKay will get an apology from him.

Well, we all realize there are members on TATF who are there just to be negative about everything.

Let's give credit where credit is due. While TD will get the credit for all of the picks we make, McKay is responsible for our second pick [from Houston], the 3rd round comp pick, and the extra 7th rounder. He was also responsible for the draft last year that I hope will go down as our best draft ever--or maybe the second best after 2008.

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bozoatl (3/31/2008)
Dalton (3/31/2008)
why do we get these free picks?

Here's the link from AJC - it's because of Kerney, Lelie and Griffith


Technically Mughelli and Lewis Sanders were also part of the comp formula as follows:

"The Falcons got such a lofty pick because if lost free agents Patick Kerney (Seattle), Justin Griffith (Oakland) and Ashley Lelie (San Francisco) and signed Ovie Mughelli and Lewis Sanders"


The Falcons had a Net Loss of "Qualified" Free Agents = 1 (Lost: Kerney, Lelie, Griffith; Signed: Mughelli and Sanders). Note that Marcus Wilkins did NOT count as a "qualified" free agent signing, although he was right on the borderline. Had Wilkins counted as a qualified free agent signing, then Atlanta would have only received a "net value" compensatory pick at the end of the 7th round. From a topic thread that I started as follows:

Misc_PostDate.gifPosted 3/24/2008 6:51 AM



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Compensatory Picks& The NFL is scheduled to release a list of compensatory draft picks on Monday, March 31st. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />




It appears that Atlanta will probably get either a 3rd round compensation pick, if Marcus Wilkins does NOT count as a qualified free agent signing, or a 7th round pick if Marcus Wilkins does count as a qualified free agent.


From the compensatory draft guru AdamJT s  projections on March 4 pertaining to the Falcons as follows:


It is possible for a team to get a compensatory pick even if it doesn t suffer a net loss of qualifying free agents. That type of comp picks come at the end of the seventh round, after the normal comp picks and before the non-compensatory picks that are added if fewer than 32 comp picks are awarded. There have been 12 of these net value type of comp picks awarded, and in each case, the combined value of the free agents lost was significantly higher than the combined value of the free agents signed. In all 12 cases, those teams lost the same number of qualifying free agents as they signed. No team has been awarded a comp pick after signing more qualifying free agents than it lost, no matter how significant the difference in combined value.


This year, I m projecting that Atlanta will receive a net-value comp after losing three qualifying players (Patrick Kerney, Ashley Lelie and Justin Griffith) and signing three qualifying players (Ovie Mughelli, Lewis Sanders and Marcus Wilkins). The combined values of the players Atlanta lost was more than twice as much as the combined values of the players it signed& If Marcus Wilkins does not qualify, Atlanta would receive a third-round comp pick for Patrick Kerney instead of a net-value comp pick in the seventh round. The third-round comp pick for Kerney would be between <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cincinnati s pick for Steinbach and Baltimore s pick for Thomas.



In two topic threads that I started on Feb.27 and Feb 28, I predicted the same 7th round compensatory pick for the Falcons as the compensatory draft guru when counting Wilkins as a "qualified" free agent signing as follows:


Atlanta s Qualified Unrestricted Free Agents LOST:

(1) Patrick Kerney (6 year, $39m = $6.5m per year)

(2) Justin Griffith (3 year, $3.8m = $1.3m per year)

(3) Ashley Lelie (2 year, $4.3m = $2.2m per year)

Note: the Falcons also lost Jason Webster and Matt Lehr in 2007, but they do not count into the compensatory formula because they were all Released , which meant that they had unexpired contracts still in force at the time they were released.

Atlanta s Qualified Unrestricted Free Agents SIGNED:

(1) Ovie Mughelli (6 year, $18m = $3m per year)

(2) Lewis Sanders (2 year, $2.3m including $700,000 signing bonus = $1.2m per year)

(3) Marcus Wilkins (3 year, $3m = $1m per year)

Note: the Falcons also signed Joey Harrington, Chris Redman, Bryan Leftwich, and Joe Horn in 2007, but they do not count into the compensatory formula because they were all Released .

I predict that Atlanta did not suffer a net loss in the number of qualified free agents, ie 3 projected qualified free agents signed and 3 projected qualified free agents lost equals a net loss of 0. Therefore Atlanta should only be entitled to only a seventh round compensatory pick if the value of the players lost significantly exceeded the value of the players signed. I think this is the case due to combined value of the players lost significantly exceeding the combined value of the players signed, primarily due to Patrick Kerney s contract.


My two topic threads on Feb.27 and 28 linked as follows:




Whether Marcus Wilkins counts as a qualified free agent signing will probably depend upon whether his annual compensation was above a minimum threshold or not. The following is another excerpt from the compensatory draft expert s projections on March 4 as follows:


Last year, the lowest-paid players who are known to have qualified for the NFL s comp equation signed for $750,000 per season and saw significant playing time. The highest-paid player who is known to have not qualified was Kevin McCadam, who signed for $765,000 but played only on special teams. Several players who signed for $750,000 but did not see significant playing time also did not qualify. This year, I have three players whom I consider on the bubble for qualifying Chris Liewinski, Mike Doss and Marcus Wilkins. For various reasons, I m projecting that all three players will qualify. Wilkins signed for less than Doss (Wilkins signed for $816,667 per year) and played even less than Doss, but his three-year contract included escalator clauses that could raise his base salaries in the final two years of the deal. Last year, a player with a similar contract and playing time (Jamie Winborn) qualified for the equation despite having a lower value in the formula than a player who did not qualify. I m guessing it was because of his escalator clause, which is why I m projecting that Wilkins will qualify, too. But I could be wrong on both counts.


I tried to verify the $816,667 amount used above by the draft guru for Marcus Wilkins annual compensation amount . My original research revealed that Wilkins received a 3 year contract for $3 million, or $1million per year. Further research over the weekend revealed the following about Marcus Wilkins 2007 compensation from a link to USA Today s salary recap by NFL team provided by magnus23:


Year / Team

2007 / Atlanta Falcons

<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />


Base Salary

Sign Bonus

Other Bonus

Total Salary

Cap Value



Wilkins, Marcus

$ 595,000

$ 500,000

 $ 4,200

$ 1,099,200

$ 765,866




Notice that Wilkins total salary for 2007 is just over $1 million, which includes his entire signing bonus. However his cap hit for 2007 was only $765,866 (calculated by dividing the $500,000 signing bonus by 3 years + Base Salary + Other Bonus). I m not real sure what annual compensation amount is actually used to determine the minimum threshold compensation to determine if a player qualifies as a free agent signing. If a player s cap value is used, which spreads the signing bonus over the years of the contract, then Marcus Wilkens is right on the minimum threshold compensation level of last year. (Also this minimum threshold level increases some each year).


Therefore, it appears that Wilkins may be much closer to NOT counting as a qualified free agent signing than I initially thought. I m a little more hopeful that the Falcons just might wind up with a 3rd round compensatory pick than I once was. This is huge difference as a 3rd round pick should be able to help the team, whereas a 7th round pick might not even make the team. Like all Falcon fans, I am really hoping and praying for a 3rd round compensatory pick. However, we will all have to anxiously wait until next Monday to know for sure.

Edited: 3/24/2008 7:29 PM by rmarchma



The complete topic thread linked as follows:



Post #3339171
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Wow, I didn't think we'd end up with a pick just based on the lame Marcus Wilkins signing.  This is really good news! NOW I'm excited about the draft.
A note: For those of you making mocks, keep in mind that compensatory picks are non-tradable.  We can't use that comp pick to help trade up into the first round to get Brohm.
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HailRazor (4/1/2008)
Wow, we could draft an entire side of the ball with this one draft...

Not really, but we do have 11 picks I think.

That's a cool way of looking at it. Another way is this. An NFL roster consists of 53 players. With 11 picks in consecutive seasons plus some UDFAs, Atlanta will have half of their roster moving forward from the 2007 and 2008 drafts.

All 7 picks in the top 103 should be guys who can compete for starting spots, too. Given Dimitroff's reputation for evaluating college talent combined with the left over evaluations from Petrino and Billy Devaney, we should hyper-knowledge of this college class. I feel very comfortable that this team will do over the next two years what Green Bay did based on the 2006 draft.

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