Compensatory draft pick system to be revised under proposed CBA

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The compensatory draft system has for years caused teams to adjust their interest in unrestricted free agents, refraining from signing them or delaying the pursuit in order to maximize free-agency losses and to minimize gains. All in the hopes of getting the most possible compensatory draft picks the following year.

Under the proposed CBA, that will change. According to the summary provided over the weekend by the NFL Players Association to all players, the system will be revised to exclude “many ‘Core Veterans'” from the equation. Specifically, players who sign one-year deals and who make less than $1.75 million won’t count toward the gains and losses, incentivizing teams to sign those players sooner than later.

The problem, of course, is that teams will find a way to use that shield for players as a sword against them, making take-it-or-leave-it offers of one-year, $1.75 million deals for lower-level free agents with the “or else” being that they won’t be signed until after the compensatory selection formula shuts off in May. So they’ll have to decide whether to take a $1.75 million bird in the hand or wait for whatever they can get later.

Regardless, this is the first meaningful change to the compensatory draft pick system, arguably since the system was first adopted.

5 responses to “Compensatory draft pick system to be revised under proposed CBA

  1. $1.75 million is still a good one-year payday for a non-priority free agent – perhaps older veterans at the end of their career who can add depth but might otherwise be on the street. Priority free agents won’t settle for that because the market will set their value higher.

    Not all contracts need to be as stupid as NBA contracts where guys make multi-millions and sit on the bench just to fill out the roster.

    This seems like a win/win and will help the overall quality depth of teams, IMO.

  2. They need to just get rid of comp picks altogether. They may have served a purpose once but that time has long passed.

  3. This actually isn’t functionally a major change. As of the current system, players who sign for an average annual salary low enough end up not counting in the comp equation…and the cutoff number in recent years has been above $1M. What this change seems to do is formally draw a salary line ahead of time, rather than force teams to project where the cutoff will be.

  4. I actually see value in the Comp System and don’t see this as having any real impact. Those veteran free agents being offered one year deals at or below 1.5M are depth players or speculative type players. Comp players are those high quality players that a team loses due to Cap Space issues, team positional needs, player needs or wanting to test FA market. It, by design, helps teams that lose top talent, recover some value. By the canceling out formula, the team obtaining that top talent also loses value or ability to become hugely advantaged.

    This bottom line helps encapsulates the process. There already is a top end with only a 3rd round pick being as good as can be awarded under the formula. I would like to see a 2nd round awarded for the huge loses like say a Tom Brady, Drew Brees types…….

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