Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Projecting the 2009 Compensatory NFL Draft Picks

For the eighth consecutive year and ninth overall, I’ve attempted to project all of the compensatory draft picks that the NFL will award. In my past seven projections, I’ve averaged 23.9 out of 32 exactly correct (going to the correct team in the correct round) and have been off by only one round on an average of 4.1 more. Last year, I got 25 correct and was off by one round on four more. With this year’s projections, I’m hoping to get a combined score of at least 30, although it’s possible that more than the usual number of them could be off by one round because so many projected compensatory picks fell near the cutoff points between rounds.

As the NFL explains, compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents than they acquire. The number of picks a team can receive equals the net loss of compensatory free agents, up to a maximum of four. Compensatory free agents are determined by a secret formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. Not every free agent lost or signed is covered by the formula.

Although the formula has never been revealed, by studying the compensatory picks that have been awarded since they began in 1994, I’ve determined that the primary factor in the value of the picks awarded is the average annual value of the contract the player signed with his new team, with an adjustment for playing time and a smaller adjustment for postseason honors. It should be noted that the contract values used in the equation seemingly do not include things such as workout bonuses, incentives and conditional bonuses. (Also, keep in mind that the contract figures reported in the media often are incorrect.) And the playing time used in the equation seemingly is the percentage of offensive or defensive snaps played.

A simple method of determining for which qualifying free agents a team will be compensated is this – for every player acquired, cancel out a lost player of similar value. For example, consider a team that loses one qualifying player whose value would bring a third-round comp pick and another qualifying player whose value would bring a sixth-round comp pick but signs a qualifying player whose value would be in the range of a third-round pick. That team would receive a sixth-round comp pick because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the higher-valued player. If the signed player’s value was equal to a fourth-round pick or lower, however, the team would receive a third-round comp pick, because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the lower-valued player.

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 pick comes 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 13 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 added. In all 13 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 Detroit and Arizona will receive a net-value comp picks. Detroit lost three qualifying players (Damien Woody, Boss Bailey and T.J. Duckett) and signed three qualifying players (Brian Kelly, Michael Gaines and Chuck Darby). Arizona lost three (Calvin Pace, Bryant Johnson and Keydrick Vincent) and signed three (Travis LaBoy, Clark Haggans and Bryan Robinson). The combined values of the players Detroit and Arizona lost each exceeded 50 percent more than the combined values of the players they signed. That would be the smallest difference in value of any net-value comp in the past six years, but I’m projecting that it will be enough for both teams.

For the second consecutive year, I’ve used a mathematical formula to weight the three factors that determine a player’s value in the comp equation (his contract, his playing time and his postseason awards). Using this formula, I’ve been able to reconstruct almost precisely the order of the comp picks that were awarded in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In two of those years, the only difference between the reconstructed order and the actual order was that a very small difference in values had the order of two consecutive picks switched. I don’t know if I have the factors weighted correctly, but given that my projected order last year (not the reconstructed order after the actual comps were awarded) matched the exact order of the comp picks in many cases – including one instance of 11 straight, out of the projected picks I had correct – I think I’m probably pretty close.

As always, please note that my comp pick formula is merely an attempt to project the results of the actual (secret) formula. I don’t pretend to know the actual formula. But I think previous results indicate that the formula I use is a pretty good simulation.

In order to qualify for the comp equation, a player must have been a true Unrestricted Free Agent whose contract had expired or was voided after the previous season (i.e., he cannot have been released by his old team); he must sign during the UFA signing period (which ended July 22 last year); if he signs after June 1, he must have been tendered a June 1 qualifying offer by his old team; his compensatory value must be above a specific minimum amount; and he cannot have been permanently released by his new team before a certain point in the season (which seems to be after Week 10) or, possibly, before getting a certain amount of playing time, unless he was claimed off waivers by another team.

The most difficult part about projecting the comp picks is determining all of the cutoff points – the minimum value needed to qualify and the value ranges for the comp picks in each round of the draft. The comp picks awarded in previous years suggest that the cutoff points increase each year by a small percentage – approximately the same percentage by which the leaguewide salary cap increases. From 2007 to 2008, the cap went up 6.96 percent, so I used a 7 percent increase when estimating the cutoff points for this year’s comp picks.

Last year, the lowest-paid player who is known to have qualified for the NFL’s comp equation was Michael Myers, who signed for $825,000 per season and saw significant playing time. The highest-paid player who is known to have not qualified was Mike Doss, who signed for $900,000 per season by saw very little playing time except on special teams. The non-qualifying player with the highest value using the compensatory formula was Chris Liwienski, who signed for $740,000 per season and played almost 90 percent of his team’s offensive snaps. This year, only one player was “on the bubble” for qualifying – Tony Richardson, who left the Vikings and signed with the Jets for $860,000 per season. However, regardless of whether Richardson qualifies, the Vikings and the Jets each signed more qualifying players than they lost, which means Richardson doesn’t affect the comp picks at all.

I’m fairly confident that the players I consider a little “above the bubble” this year (Terry Cousin, Keydrick Vincent and Danny Clark) will qualify for the equation, and that the players I consider slightly “below the bubble” (Alex Stepanovich and Aaron Glenn), will not qualify. The lowest-valued player “above the bubble,” Danny Clark, has a value in the formula that is more than 20 percent higher than that of last year’s lowest-valued qualifying player. And the highest-valued player “below the bubble,” Alex Stepanovich, has a value that is less than that of the lowest-valued qualifying player last year (Michael Myers) and less than 1 percent more than the highest-valued non-qualifying player last year (Chris Liwienski). If I’m wrong about any of those players, it will represent by far the largest or smallest increase in the minimum value needed to qualify that the NFL has used since comp picks were first awarded.

There were two unusual cases this year, one involving Keary Colbert and the other involving Marques Douglas, and they each might or might not count in the comp picks equation.

Colbert was a UFA for Carolina who signed with Denver, was traded to Seattle on Sept. 17, then was cut by the Seahawks on Nov. 12. The only clue about how the NFL handles a player like this in the compensatory formula is the case of Qadry Ismail in 1998. He was a free agent for Minnesota in 1997, signed with Green Bay, then was traded to Miami during the preseason. He did not count in the equation for Minnesota or Green Bay. It’s not known whether he counted for Miami, because the Dolphins didn’t receive any comp picks in 1998, so the NFL never revealed which players counted as lost or signed for Miami. In Colbert’s case, it doesn’t matter whether he counts for Carolina and/or Denver, because neither team will receive a comp pick either way. They each signed more qualifying players than they lost, regardless of whether Colbert counts. It does matter for Seattle, though. If Colbert counts as a player added, the Seahawks would receive three comp picks. If he does not, the Seahawks would receive four. Because Colbert was a member of the Seahawks for only eight weeks, I am projecting that he will not count in the equation.

Douglas was a UFA for San Francisco who signed with Tampa Bay, then was traded to Baltimore on Aug. 27 and played in every game for the Ravens. Whether he counts for Tampa Bay and/or Baltimore is irrelevant, because they each signed more qualifying players than they lost. However, it does matter if he counts for San Francisco. If he counts as a player lost by the 49ers, they will receive two comp picks. If not, they will get one comp pick. I am projecting that Douglas will count as a player lost by the 49ers.

Last year, regardless of playing time or postseason honors, the third-round comp players had signed for at least $6.25 million per season, the fourth-round comp players had signed for $4.67 million to $5.225 million, the only fifth-round comp player had signed for $4.5 million, the sixth-round comp players had signed for $2.25 million to $3.75 million, and the seventh-round comp players had signed for $2.5 million or less per season. Note that there are huge gaps between some rounds, and that there is an overlap between the sixth and seventh rounds because of the adjustments for playing time. You’ll find the contract values for each round of this year’s projected picks in the list a few paragraphs below this one.

As I alluded to earlier, the NFL adds non-compensatory picks if fewer than 32 comp picks are awarded. The non-compensatory picks are given, in order, to the teams that would be drafting if there were an eighth round, until the maximum of 32 has been reached. If there are 28 true comps, for example, the NFL would give additional picks to the teams that would have the first four picks in the eighth round, if there were one. This year, I’m projecting that 30 true comps will be awarded, including Detroit’s and Arizona's comp picks for net-value losses, which I mentioned earlier. Therefore, I’m projecting that Detroit and Kansas City will receive non-compensatory picks to fill out the maximum number of picks. If the NFL’s equation results in more than three non-compensatory picks being added, the next six teams in line to receive one would be St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Cincinnati, Jacksonville and Oakland, in that order.

Here are the projected picks for 2009, along with the compensatory player, their average contract value, their games played, their games started and other notes (I’ve also noted the nine picks that fall near a cutoff point and could end up in a different round) –


New England (Asante Samuel, $9.3567 million per season, 15 GP/15 GS, Pro Bowl)

Pittsburgh (Alan Faneca, $7.8 million, 16/16, Pro Bowl)

Cincinnati (Justin Smith, $7 million, 16/16) – possibly a fourth-round pick


Chicago (Bernard Berrian, $6.9 million, 16/13) – possibly a third-round pick

N.Y. Giants (Gibril Wilson, $6.5008 million, 16/15) – possibly a third-round pick

San Diego (Michael Turner, $5.75 million, 16/16, Pro Bowl) – possibly a third-round pick

San Diego (Drayton Florence, $5.9333 million, 15/8)

Tennessee (Antwan Odom, $5.9 million, 12/8)

Indianapolis (Jake Scott, $4.8 million, 16/16) – possibly a fifth-round pick


San Francisco (Kwame Harris, $4.6667 million, 14/11)

New England (Donte Stallworth, $4.5393 million, 11/7)

Dallas (Jacques Reeves, $4 million, 16/16) – possibly a sixth-round pick

Tennessee (Travis LaBoy, $4.4 million, 13/12) – possibly a sixth-round pick


Tennessee (Randy Starks, $3.885 million, 16/4)

New England (Randall Gay, $3.3125 million, 14/13)

Dallas (Julius Jones, $2.9 million, 15/10)

Cincinnati (Landon Johnson, $2.733 million, 15/0) – possibly a seventh-round pick

San Francisco (Marques Douglas, $2.525 million, 16/0) – possibly a seventh-round pick


Tennessee (Ben Hartsock, $2.25 million, 11/11)

Washington (Mark Brunell, $1.755 million, 2/0)

Seattle (Chuck Darby, $1.467 million, 15/15)

Seattle (Ellis Wyms, $1.4 million, 16/0)

Chicago (John Gilmore, $1.333 million, 16/10)

Seattle (Kevin Bentley, $1.3 million, 16/7)

Chicago (Brendon Ayanbadejo, $1.223 million, 16/0, Pro Bowl)

Cincinnati (Bryan Robinson, $1.2125 million, 16/15)

Seattle (D.J. Hackett, $1.2 million, 9/2)

Jacksonville (Terry Cousin, $1.115 million, 16/0)

Detroit (net-value comp pick, lost three for $10.721 million, 38/22; signed three for $7.134 million, 42/31)

Arizona (net-value comp pick, lost three for $9.45 million, 46/42; signed three for $6.9625 million, 40/27)

Detroit (non-compensatory pick)

Kansas City (non-compensatory pick)

As noted, the values of nine comp picks fell near the cutoff points between rounds, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the comp pick for Smith is in the fourth round, if the comp picks for Berrian, Wilson and/or Turner are in the third round, if the comp pick for Scott is in the fifth round, if the comp picks for Reeves and LaBoy in the sixth round or if the comp picks for Johnson and/or Douglas are in the seventh round. (Actually, if Douglas’ value falls in the seventh round, the 49ers’ comp pick would be for Maurice Hicks and would fall between Chicago’s pick for John Gilmore and Seattle's pick for Kevin Bentley.)

Of course, other projected picks could be off by one round (or more) if the NFL happened to change the formula or increase the cutoff points by significantly more or less than I projected.

Here are the qualifying players lost and signed (in order of value) for the 15 teams that I’m projecting will receive comp picks –


Lost: Calvin Pace, Bryant Johnson, Keydrick Vincent

Signed: Travis LaBoy, Clark Haggans, Bryan Robinson


Lost: Bernard Berrian, John Gilmore, Brendon Ayanbadejo

Signed: None


Lost: Justin Smith, Madieu Williams, Landon Johnson, Bryan Robinson

Signed: Antwan Odom


Lost: Jacques Reeves, Julius Jones

Signed: None


Lost: Damien Woody, Boss Bailey, T.J. Duckett

Signed: Brian Kelly, Michael Gaines, Chuck Darby


Lost: Jake Scott

Signed: None


Lost: Bobby McCray, Ernest Wilford, Sammy Knight, Terry Cousin

Signed: Drayton Florence, Jerry Porter, Cleo Lemon


Lost: Gibril Wilson, Kawika Mitchell, Reggie Torbor

Signed: Sammy Knight, Danny Clark


Lost: Asante Samuel, Donte Stallworth, Randall Gay

Signed: None


Lost: Alan Faneca, Clark Haggans

Signed: Mewelde Moore


Lost: Michael Turner, Drayton Florence

Signed: None


Lost: Justin Smiley, Kwame Harris, Marques Douglas, Maurice Hicks

Signed: Justin Smith, Bryant Johnson


Lost: Josh Brown, Niko Koutouvides, Chuck Darby, Ellis Wyms, Kevin Bentley, D.J. Hackett

Signed: Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett


Lost: Jacob Bell, Antwan Odom, Travis LaBoy, Randy Starks, Ben Hartsock, Chris Brown

Signed: Jake Scott


Lost: Mark Brunell

Signed: None

Anyone else who was lost or signed by one of those teams last offseason is not projected to qualify for the equation, for one reason or another. Remember, players have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the equation (see the eighth paragraph of these projections for a summary of the criteria), so a lot of players will not count in the equation. Most of the time, it’s either because the player had been released by his previous team and was not a true UFA, or because the player didn’t sign for enough money to qualify.

If I’m wrong about the values of certain players or whether some players will or will not qualify for the equation, that would affect the comp picks. Here’s what would happen in certain instances –

If Jacob Bell’s value as a player lost for Tennessee falls into the range of a third-round comp pick, instead of a fourth-rounder as I projected, then the Titans would get a third-round comp pick for him instead of a fourth-round comp pick for Antwan Odom.

If Jake Scott’s compensatory value is in the fifth round, then the Colts would get a fifth-round pick for him, and the Titans would get a comp pick for Jacob Bell (either in the third or fourth round) instead of a fifth-round comp pick for Travis LaBoy.

If Keary Colbert does qualify as a player signed for Seattle, the Seahawks would not get a seventh-round comp pick for Chuck Darby but would get the other three seventh-round comp picks, and St. Louis would get a non-compensatory pick to fill out the draft order.

If Marques Douglas does not qualify as a player lost by San Francisco, the 49ers would not get a sixth-round comp pick for him. And as I mentioned earlier, if Douglas’ value falls in the range of a seventh-round comp pick, the 49ers’ comp pick would not be for him, but for Maurice Hicks, and it would fall between Chicago’s pick for John Gilmore and Seattle's pick for Kevin Bentley.

If Terry Cousin does not qualify as a player lost by Jacksonville, the Jaguars would not get a seventh-round comp pick for him, and St. Louis would get a non-compensatory pick to fill out the draft order.

If Keydrick Vincent does not qualify as a player lost by Arizona, the Cardinals would not get a third-round comp pick for Calvin Pace, and St. Louis would get a non-compensatory pick to fill out the draft order.

If Danny Clark does not qualify as a player signed by the Giants, they would get a sixth-round comp pick for Reggie Torbor, between New England’s pick for Randall Gay and Dallas’ pick for Julius Jones, and Kansas City would not get a non-compensatory pick at the end of the seventh round.

If Alex Stepanovich does qualify as a player lost by Cincinnati, the Bengals would receive a seventh-round comp pick for him, between Jacksonville’s comp pick for Terry Cousin and Detroit’s net-value comp pick, and Kansas City would not get a non-compensatory pick at the end of the seventh round.

If Aaron Glenn does qualify as a player lost by Jacksonville, the Jaguars would receive a seventh-round comp pick for him, after their comp pick for Terry Cousin (and after Cincinnati’s comp pick for Stepanovich, if the Bengals get one) and before Detroit’s net-value comp pick, and Kansas City would not get a non-compensatory pick at the end of the seventh round.

Under no circumstances will more than 32 picks be awarded, so if I have made numerous significant mistakes and there are more true comp picks than I have projected, one or more of the lowest-valued picks in my projection (starting with the non-compensatory picks and going backward) might not be awarded, if they’re not one of the 32 highest-valued comp picks. Only the 32 highest-valued comp picks are awarded. So, for example, if Stepanovich and Glenn both qualify as players lost, there would be no non-compensatory picks at the end of the seventh round.

The NFL typically awards the compensatory picks on the second day of the Annual Meeting, which would be March 23 this year (the meeting will be March 22-25 in Dana Point, Calif.). After the comp picks are announced, I’ll review what the NFL did and where my projections were incorrect (although I’ve already presented some other possibilities).


Feel free to post my projections on message boards, as long as you give proper credit. Because I cannot register for and regularly visit every single message board where my projections are posted by others, please encourage anyone who has questions for me to post them in the comments here at adamjt13.blogspot.com.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the post. It appears that you've got a pretty good grasp of the system, but I have wondered if you're using the right data in the calculation of Detroit Lion entitlements.

I believe that Boss Bailey was not a credible free agent when he signed on with the Broncos. If my recollection is correct, he was released by the Lions and was signed as a street free agent. If that is true (and I think it is) I don't believe that he counts for comp calculations.

At the same time, J.T. O'Sullivan, who signed with the Niners and saw a bit of duty there, including a smattering of starts, appears to have been a legitimate (and counting) loss by the Lions.

It is possible that the Lions will come up with the same setup that you've projected, but I think that a re-checking of the data may be warranted.

Again, thanks for your good work. You're providing a very worthwhile service, and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Check that last night's message. I believe that I was wrong about Boss Bailey's defection from the Lions..it appears to have been an unrestricted FA move after all, but it may be worth checking the San Francisco ledger to see if J.T. O'Sullivan might also have been a UFA..thus impacting the Lion picture in a positive way.

AdamJT13 said...

J.T. O'Sullivan's contract was too small ($645,000 per season for the purposes of comp picks). He will not qualify for the equation.

Anonymous said...

I love this post.

I've got a question on how Cassel's trade to the Chiefs would affect compensatory picks next year for the Patriots?

Cassel was a UFA, franchised, traded to KC, and has not signed a new deal...do you not receive compensatory picks for players that are traded? (sounds like you should receive picks considering how some players were traded midseason and counts towards your formula)

Would the Pats receive a third round pick next year (given Cassel is playing under a $14 million contract and the pats not signing enough contracts to equal $14 million)?

Anonymous said...


Good post, i read it every year. I just have one question. How come the Raiders don't have any compensatory draft picks? They signed T Kwame Harris, C John Wade, SS Gibril Wilson, and WR Drew Carter. They also signed WR Javon Walker and DE Kalimba Edwards after they were released.

They lost WR Jerry Porter, QB Josh McCown, DE/LB Chris Clemons, and DE Tyler Brayton.

Harris 3yr 14 mill (14/11)
Wade 2yr 1.5 mill (5/4)
Wilson 6yr 39 mill (16/16)
Carter 1yr 2 mill (0/0)on IR

signed after relaesed
Walker 6yr 55 mill (8/5)
Edwards 2yr 5 mill (14/11)

Porter 6yr 30 mill (10/5)
McCown 2yr 6.25 mill (3/0)
Clemons 5yr 19 mill (16/1)
Brayton 2yr 4.5 mill (16/16)

Thanks again for doing this.

CodePoet said...

Dude, congrats on getting picked up by ESPN. All the bloggers there are referencing this page.

maestro876 said...

Michael Turner is the MVP-runner up, and all he gets San Diego is a 4th-round pick? And Cincinatti gets a 3rd rounder for a guy like Justin Smith who's never been to the Pro Bowl?

Seems unfair.

Anonymous said...

@ Maestro876 :

Fairness the way you're describing isn't exactly the point. The NFL has to standardize the practice of offering compensation as methodically and mechanically as possible. Easiest way to do that? Money and snaps.

The Bears released Berrian primarily because the asking price was too high and he was an inconsistent receiver with a knack for dropping balls. That the Bears would gain a 4th round pick by letting him walk only made the original reasoning stronger, it didn't provide a separate motivation

AdamJT13 said...

To answer a few questions --

-- Cassel will not count in next year's equation. Franchise players do not count. Plus, he was traded, not lost in free agency.

-- The Raiders signed four qualifying players and lost four, so they did not have a net loss. And the combined values (using the formula) of the players they signed is greater than the combined values of the players they lost, so they won't get a "net value" comp pick.

-- Regarding Michael Turner, the adjustment for "postseason honors" is very small.

Priest Holmes had a season similar to Turner's after leaving Baltimore during the 2001 free agency period. In his first year with Kansas City, Holmes led the NFL in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage, went to the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro. But because his contract was so small, all Baltimore got for him was a sixth-round pick, which is right where his value fell in the formula.

In 2005, Kyle Vanden Bosch had 12.5 sacks and played in the Pro Bowl in his first season with Tennessee, but Arizona didn't even get a comp pick for him in 2006 because his contract was so small ($480,000 per season). Vanden Bosch didn't count in the equation at all, so he wasn't included as a player signed by Tennessee, either. That's why the Titans got a seventh-round comp pick for losing Shad Meier, who signed with New Orleans for $770,000 per season (but only $732,500 that counted in the formula) and played only 24 offensive snaps all season (plus one snap on special teams). Was it fair that Meier counted and Vanden Bosch didn't? Probably not. But that's what happened.

Also, Turner's value isn't helped by the fact that he played less than 60 percent of the offensive snaps for Atlanta.

drinkyourmilkshake said...

The Steelers also Signed Keyaron Fox, a Free Agent LB, from the Chiefs. He played mainly on Special Teams. I don't know if this would skew the 3rd round pick of the Steelers.

AdamJT13 said...

Keyaron Fox signed for only $645,000 per season. His value in the formula is too small to qualify, so he won't affect anything.

Anonymous said...

Good Post Adam, I've enjoyed looking over your work for the past three years on KFFL and here . . .One question, I know last year, Brian Kelly bought out the final year of his contract by paying money back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I notice that you have him as an UFA for your calculations. The Bucs made the choice to let him go, it seems like it's closer to being released than a player that has the option to void his contract. Just curious if you knew that Kelly bought out his contract when you did the calculations.

AdamJT13 said...

Brian Kelly's contract with Tampa Bay had 2008 listed as a voidable season, and he voided it and became a true UFA (not an "other free agent" or "street free agent," like players who get released). Players who became true UFAs because of voidable seasons normally are included in the equation like any other true UFA.

The one thing that might disqualify Kelly from the equation, though, is that his 2008 season originally wasn't a voidable season. His contract was renegotiated in July 2007 to make 2008 voidable if he achieved certain incentives, which he did.

I know that players who become UFAs by renegotiating to eliminate contract years are not included in the equation, but I don't recall any cases of players who renegotiated to convert seasons to voidable years, so I don't know how the NFL handles that. I guess if Kelly doesn't qualify, we'll know why.

If Kelly is not included in the equation, instead of getting a net-value comp pick, Detroit would get a comp pick for Damien Woody right after Indianapolis' comp pick for Jake Scott, in either the fourth or fifth round.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on Brian Kelly. With that, I'll add one other note, Damien Woody did the same thing as Kelly did . . .Woody's contract was renegotiated in August 2007 to make 2008 & 2009 voidable if he achieved certain incentives, which he did. You might want to double check your records, but I'm sure that's what Woody happened.

AdamJT13 said...

OK, I did some double-checking on players who converted contract years into voidable years by renegotiating. There have, in fact, been players who have done this and still qualified for the equation, so I'm pretty certain that Brian Kelly, Damien Woody and Mark Brunell (who also did it) will qualify this year.

In March 2002, safety Shaun Williams signed a contract with the Giants through 2007, with an option for 2008. The 2006 and 2007 seasons were not voidable years. In March 2005, Williams renegotiated his contract. The 2007 and 2008 seasons were deleted, and the 2006 season was converted into a voidable year. When the 2006 season was voided, he became a true UFA at the start of the 2006 free agency period. He signed a one-year contract with Carolina in March 2006 and was included by the NFL in the compensatory picks equation in 2007.

That same year, Andre Carter also was included, even though his 2006 season was converted to a voidable year during a renegotiation.

Jack said...


I've been a fan of your work for years from both the Ranch and the Zone and now with your blog and Rotoworld posts. Seems like the mainstream media like ESPN has caught on to you also. Kudos to that.

Just have one quick question and it's not really related to the comp picks but more about the salary cap.

I have heard many people talk about some change regarding the salary of drafted players counting against the cap regardless of whether they make the team or not.

Is this something different, or is it just any bonus amount that will stick to the cap, regardless of whether they are cut. If the entire salary counts towards the cap, what is the purpose of the rule of 51? Or does it get thrown out because of the uncertain CBA?

I am thinking this is nothing new, but for some reason the media has reported it as being a reason that teams might try trading up to reduce their number of picks.

Thanks for any assistance.

Fla Cowpoke

AdamJT13 said...


I'm not positive what it is you're hearing, but perhaps it's the fact that all dead money accelerates into this season when a player is released. So if a late-round pick doesn't make the team, his entire bonus will count against this year's cap, instead of just this year's prorated amount (in a normal season, the rest would accelerate into next season's cap).

I doubt that will make teams try to reduce their number of draft picks, though, because even if you miss on some late-round picks, and have to eat a few signing bonuses, you'll still save cap room if you hit on a few late-round picks. A rookie's minimum base salary is at least $150,000 less than that of a third-year player and at least $225,000 less than that of a fourth-year player. If one or two late-round picks can show enough to allow you to cut guys who have been around for two or three years without developing, then you'll come out ahead in terms of cap space used on those roster spots.