When 4:00 PM Eastern time on Tuesday came and went, so did one of the NFL’s quiet but notable deadlines. Today was the final day for signings of unrestricted free agents to affect the compensatory draft pick formula, which means that there may be an uptick in the number of players signing contracts in the next few days and weeks.
As a refresher, compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have a net loss of unrestricted free agents signed and gained in a single offseason period. In other words a team that might be due a comp pick for losing a high-priced free agent may lose that pick by signing a lower-priced free agent from another team.
That is the case until today’s deadline, however. Any unrestricted free agents signed after today do not affect the compensatory pick calculation, which often leads teams to wait until this deadline has passed to sign players who remained on the market into the later stages of free agency.
(Also keep in mind that players released by their former teams do not count towards the compensatory pick calculation at any time.)
The maximum number of compensatory picks awarded in the entire NFL draft is 32, and each NFL team can receive a maximum of four selections. The Green Bay Packers received four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft due to free agent losses in 2017; those picks came in round four, round five (two selections), and round six. However, it appears unlikely that the Packers will be in line to receive any additional picks in the 2019 draft as a result of this offseason’s moves.
There are still a number of interesting players available, including safeties Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, and Tre Boston; cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Delvin Breaux; and offensive linemen Austin Howard and Alex Boone.