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Compensatory Picks Analyzed

The often-confusing and misunderstood compensatory selections are broken down in the wake of the Raven's win over Minnesota.

Patrick Smith

After a crazy weekend of football and a fantastic finish between the Ravens and Vikings, the Ravens remain in the final wild card spot, once again placing them in the range of picks 21 to 32. Circumstances remain the same as last week, which was talked about here.

In the wake of this monotony is a chance to analyze the projected compensatory picks for the Ravens. Compensatory picks are additional selection in the NFL Draft added towards the ends of rounds 3 through 7. They are given to a team based on their free agent losses before the start of the previous season (meaning 2013’s free agency affect 2014’s draft). These selections are based almost solely off of the size of the contract a player signs for. No team can be issued more than 4 compensatory selections and they are not tradable.

Picks are offset based on how many unrestricted free agents a team signs during free agency (so if a former Raven signs somewhere else for $10 million, but the Ravens sign another player for $8 million, no pick will get issued). In calculating compensatory picks, however, players who are cut do not factor into either equation.

This means that the loss of Bernard Pollard will not net a pick, but the additions of Michael Huff, Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, and Elvis Dumervil will not detract any picks.

Breaking this down, the players the Ravens lost that will affect compensatory selections are:

Paul Kruger- Cleveland Browns: 5 years, $40.5 million

Dannell Ellerbe- Miami Dolphins: 5 years, $35 million

Cary Williams: Philadelphia Eagles: 3 years, $17 million

Ed Reed- Houston Texans: 3 years, $14.875 million

The players the Ravens signed that will offset any picks are:

None. The only notable unrestricted free agency contracts the Ravens handed out were to their own players, which do not affect anything.

Usually, it takes a $10 million per year contract to net a 3rd rounder, but due to the bottom heavy free agency (only Mike Wallace’s contract meets that requirement), Kruger’s pick could get pushed into the 3rd round.

Paul Kruger- ~$8 million per year: 3rd round

Dannell Ellerbe: $7 million per year: 4th round

Cary Williams- ~$5.2 million per year: 4th round

Ed Reed: ~$4.9 million per year: 5th round

This is a best-case scenario, and the short term aspect of Williams’ and Reed’s contracts (only three years each) could force those picks into the 5th and 6th rounds, respectively. An extra wrinkly thrown in is Reed's release, which could push the pick back another round but since the contract was still signed and he made $5 million regardless, should not nullify the pick completely.