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Baltimore Ravens run the risk of losing the compensatory pick for Kelechi Osemele

In a year where the Ravens are unlikely to garner multiple compensatory picks, the team runs the risk of getting none...

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The Baltimore Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome are the unquestioned kings of compensatory picks, with 48 since they were implemented in 1994. The next highest team is a good 10 picks behind the Ravens. The Ravens accumulated the maximum amount of extra picks in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with 4 extra picks in each draft, and followed that up with another 3 in the 2015 draft. These are not picks primarily at the end of the draft- 11 of those 15 selections were in the 5th round or higher, with two in the third round, five in the 4th round, and four in the 5th round. This is a big strategic advantage for the Ravens.

However, from the onset the 2016 off-season did not look as promising as previous years. The Ravens only featured one big free agent target in Kelechi Osemele. The only other Raven expected to sign a deal which might have been big enough to qualify for a pick higher than the 7th round was Courtney Upshaw, and even Upshaw did not do that in the end. Other free agents did sign elsewhere, with backup quarterback Matt Schaub getting a bigger than expected deal in Atlanta, and Chris Givens signing a small deal with the Philadelphia Eagles which in not likely to qualify for the compensatory formula.

Meanwhile, the Ravens went free agent shopping, adding top free agent safety Eric Weddle and tight end Ben Watson, who they pursued early and intensely. The compensatory picks seemed secondary for a team which finished with its first sub-.500 record in almost 10 years. The Ravens have seemingly missed on a higher rate of draft picks more recently, with draft busts like Matt Elam and Arthur Brown looming prominently and many allowed to leave for second contracts elsewhere. This includes players who were important cogs in the 2012 Super Bowl win, including the aforementioned Osemele and Upshaw, Torrey Smith, Pernell McPhee, and Michael Oher, although most of those players were lured away with big paydays.

The end result of the Ravens spending this offseason left them with just one projected compensatory pick, albeit a premium one: a projected third round pick for Kelechi Osemele. Keep in mind, although the contracts for Schaub and Upshaw look like they will qualify for the compensatory pick cancellation chart cancelling out with Weddle and Watson, there is only the slimmest of chances they would have made the 32-pick cut off to get a pick for the Ravens anyways. Givens is very unlikely to qualify with only a $840,000 base salary.

This leaves one concern though for Ravens fans. If Schaub or Upshaw were to not make the 53 man roster, or even get cut mid season, the likelihood is that they would not qualify for the compensatory cancellation chart, which would have bigger consequences for the Ravens. If either did not make the roster, then Weddle would end up cancelling out with Osemele on the chart, leaving the Ravens with only a net compensation pick for the difference is salary size, a pick which is only assigned in the 7th round, and only if there are not 32 picks assigned already, which there look to be.

While this seems unlikely, stranger things have happened. One thing in the Ravens favor is that there are no compensatory implications of the Falcons holding onto either player, as they went on a big shopping spree and really did not lose much in free agency. Upshaw is slated as a starter and platoon player, and Schaub really has little competition for the backup job, so they would seem pretty secure.