The NFL has finally announced the awarding of compensatory picks for the 2012 draft. A total of 32 compensatory selections were given to 15 teams, with the Green Bay Packers receiving the maximum four picks. Also earning the maximum amount were the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.
Two of Green Bay’s four selections come in the fourth round (no. 132 and 133), while the other two come in the seventh (no. 241 and 243). Combined with the seventh-round pick earned from the Jets through trading OL Caleb Schlauderaff, this takes them up to 12 total picks for the 2012 draft.
Information about compensatory selections and this year’s full list are provided by NFL.com:
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.
The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 221 choices in the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft (April 26-28), which will kick off in primetime for the third consecutive year.
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Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.
The players lost in free agency last year were Cullen Jenkins (Eagles), guard Daryn Colledge (Cardinals), running back Brandon Jackson (Browns), guard Jason Spitz (Jacksonville) and fullback Korey Hall (Saints). Ted Thompson did not sign any free agents last season to offset their losses, thus helping them gain the maximum number of picks for this year.
Packers fans should understand by now that this is common practice for Thompson. His philosophy of building through the draft and dipping into free agency only when necessary allows him to stockpile a large number of picks from year to year. It lets him not only “shotgun” the draft for talent, but also use picks to trade around the board as needed.
It should be noted, however, that compensatory picks may not be traded. They will give Thompson more room to trade his other picks, though.
In looking ahead to next year, the Packers have already lost QB Matt Flynn (Seahawks) and C Scott Wells (Rams) as unrestricted free agents. RB Ryan Grant, DL Howard Green, and LB Erik Walden have yet to sign contracts anywhere, and DB Jarrett Bush re-signed with Green Bay earlier this month.
Their acquisition of C Jeff Saturday and DL Daniel Muir last week should not count as free agency “gains,” since Muir was released during the season by Indianapolis and Saturday has more than 10 years in the league.