Tuesday, May 9th has passed, and with it goes one of the minor deadlines around the NFL. Up until Tuesday, any unrestricted free agent who signed with an NFL team other than his old team was included in the calculation for compensatory selections in next year’s NFL Draft. However, players signed today and for the rest of the 2017 season will not be subject to those calculations.
That means that we have final projections on what compensation the Green Bay Packers (and other teams) will receive for the loss of their high-profile free agents.
Over The Cap, as always, has a detailed breakdown, which we will examine from the Packers’ perspective. Keep in mind that players signed by the team will cancel out players lost, and that the picks correspond to individual players, not necessarily to the overall value of a group of players that were lost. Finally, the projections at present account for only the average yearly value of the player’s new contract, and although the league ostensibly takes playing time and individual honors into account, these make up only a very small portion of the formula.
The Packers lost the following unrestricted free agents to contracts with other teams this offseason, in descending order of contract value:
- G T.J. Lang (Lions)
- DB Micah Hyde (Bills)
- C JC Tretter (Browns)
- TE Jared Cook (Raiders)
- RB Eddie Lacy (Seahawks)
- DE Datone Jones (Vikings)
- DE Julius Peppers (Panthers)
According to OTC’s projections, the Bennett signing cancels out the loss of Hyde, while Evans cancels Peppers’ contract. That leaves five losses still eligible for comp picks, and since four is the maximum for any one team, Jones falls off the list because his contract had the lowest reported annual value.
This now brings us to the final projections: the Packers are expected to receive one third-round pick (for Lang), one fifth-round pick (Tretter), and two sixth-round picks (Cook, Lacy) in next year’s draft.
If this ends up being the case, it will be the first time the Packers have received a third-round comp pick since 2014. That year, they received the 98th overall pick as a result of losing free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings to the Vikings in 2013. (The Packers chose tight end Richard Rodgers with that selection.) They also had a fifth-round comp pick that season, given for Erik Walden’s signing with the Colts; the team used that pick on Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis.
2018 will also be the ninth straight year in which the Packers are awarded at least one compensatory pick. 2009 was the last draft in which this did not take place, and that was the only draft since Ted Thompson’s first as Packers GM in 2005 that he did not have at least one.