Cardinals poised to clean up on 2018 compensatory picks

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As NFL teams consider whether to sign free agents, an often-overlooked aspect of the decision-making process is attaining compensatory picks the following year. This year, no team better set itself up for compensatory picks than the Cardinals.

Today was the deadline for any free agent signings to affect next year’s compensatory pick total, and it appears that the Cardinals will have the best haul of compensatory picks in 2018. According to, the Cardinals will likely receive four picks for free agents who signed elsewhere this offseason: a third-round pick for Calais Campbell, a fourth-round pick for Tony Jefferson, a sixth-round pick for Marcus Cooper and a sixth-round pick for D.J. Swearinger.

The Packers, who always do well on compensatory picks, are expected to pick up a third-round pick for T.J. Lang, a fifth-round pick for J.C. Tretter and a sixth-round pick for Eddie Lacy. And four other teams are expected to get third-round compensatory picks: The Texans for A.J. Bouye, the Broncos for Russell Okung, the Bengals for Kevin Zeitler and the Ravens for Ricky Wagner.

It’s not a certainty that it will end up that way. The NFL doesn’t publish the compensatory pick formula, so no one knows for sure exactly how they’re awarded. And the awarding of 2018 compensatory picks is based in part on free agents’ playing time during the 2017 season, so this can still change. But for now, the Cardinals are in great shape.

27 responses to “Cardinals poised to clean up on 2018 compensatory picks

  1. The Packers signed TEs Bennett & Kendricks, plus CB Davon House
    So that would certainly be added to the equation and reduce the haul they get in return

    It’s not just what you lose in free agency
    They also compute what you take back

  2. vikingjack73 says:
    May 9, 2017 7:44 PM
    The Packers signed TEs Bennett & Kendricks, plus CB Davon House
    So that would certainly be added to the equation and reduce the haul they get in return

    It’s not just what you lose in free agency
    They also compute what you take back

    The Packers also lost Hyde, Peppers, and Jojes. Plus Kendricks and House don’t count because they were cut by their teams

  3. Keon is a very very smart man

    He took guys off the street. Coaches made them top flight players and now Arizona is being rewarded for not over paying them

  4. snowdood163 says:
    May 9, 2017 7:40 PM

    Why do the Broncos get one for okung considering he was only there for one year and signed as a free agent?

    snowdood163 ……

    This is a team who had a washed up 40 something year old qb who ironically had a career year the same time he had a crate of HGH shipped to his house while the league looked the other way. So it would seem that the Denver ponies are one of the teams in the good books of 345 Park Ave.

  5. The Packers signed TEs Bennett & Kendricks, plus CB Davon House
    So that would certainly be added to the equation and reduce the haul they get in return

    It’s not just what you lose in free agency
    They also compute what you take back


    Bennett, Kendricks, and House were all cut by their teams and are therefore UFA not counting into the equation.

  6. GB is right there with AZ – they are listed as getting a 3rd, a 5th and 2 6th’s as opposed to AZ with a 3rd, a 4th and 2 6th’s. Losing Micah Hyde basically cancels out signing Martellus Bennett (he was not cut by NE, they are listed as getting a 5th for losing him).

    In an ideal world, Hundley blows up the preseason and they trade him for another 3rd. With 12 picks, they would definitely have the assets to move into the top 12-15 picks for the right player. It’s tough when your drafting between 25th and 32nd every year.

  7. The league needs to take a long look at the compensatory pick policy, because the system is clearly broken.

    For example, why should the Cardinals get any compensation for losing D.J. Swearinger? He was a 2nd round draft pick for the Texans and was cut and bounced around the league until finding a home in Arizona. The Cardinals had nothing but cash invested in him, they certainly don’t deserve to get a draft pick for allowing him to leave for Washington.

    Compensatory picks should only be for losing players that were drafted and played out their rookie deals. Someone like Mike Glennon, who was drafted and played in Tampa, who signed with Chicago after his rookie deal expired, as an example.

    The formula for how those picks are awarded also should be published, similar to the way the draft order tiebreakers are published. Can you imagine how it would look if the league just randomly broke ties on the draft order? Mysterious policies that come down from the mountain with questionable consistency smack of favoritism and damage the integrity of the game.

  8. Peppers is a 37-year old part-time situational player
    GB won’t get much back in return for him

    Unless Peppers has a 15-sack season in Carolina
    Only player worth of note GN lost is Lang!

    Tretter was a backup!
    That’s why GB let him go
    Barclay was a backup
    Hyde was a situational player with no definitive position

  9. Packers also lost Jared Cook, Julius Peppers and Micah Hyde. Only 2 of their pickups were FAs; Bennett and Evans. The rest were guys who were cut. GB oughta get 4 comp picks.

  10. watch the Vikings get maybe 1 compensatory pick for Patterson, Kalil, Peterson, Munnerlyn and others

  11. A lot of analysis were baffled why Cardinals didnt pick a QB in this years draft. Well, now you see why. They will have plenty of picks now to package in next years draft to grab a QB. Plus the QB class is suppose to be a lot better next year than this past year. So yeah, Cardinals are looking pretty smart right now.

  12. If teams get compensatory picks for losing players … the teams signing players should lose picks too.

  13. Everyone knows that the contract and the playing time factor into the distribution of compensatory picks.
    Cowboys should haul in way more than the Packers and arguably more than the Cardinals.

    Carr – $6M/yr, starter
    Claiborne – $5M, starter
    Church – $7M/yr, starter
    McClain – $5M/yr, starter
    Wilcox – $3.25M/yr, starter (?)
    Crawford – $3.25M/yr

    Carroll: $3.3M/yr, starter (?)
    Paea: $2M, backup
    Bell: $1.7M/yr, backup
    Moore: $800k/yr, backup
    Blanton: $700k, backup

  14. Sorry, but if a team makes no effort to retain a free agent then they shouldn’t get any compensation.

    It’s different if you try to resign someone with what the League would consider to be a competitive offer, but to make no effort – possibly due to you knowing you made a mistake drafting or signing the guy – then you shouldn’t get any refund for buyers remorse!

  15. My team isn’t getting any compensation picks this year, at least none that have been made public or otherwise speculated on, but… I completely agree with them with no prejudice based on being “cheap” or making no effort. If a player wildly overhauled himself, a la stephon gilmore, and the bills didn’t have the cap space to even remotely entertain the idea… why should they get nothing in return? He signs a huge contract with the Patriots and the bills should get nothing for what they had invested in him? Sometimes it isn’t being cheap, it’s being smart.

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