Its a long article- just go down to the middle of it if you dont feel like reading it all. just another reason for us to trade with them TFY.com: Quote: For the fifth consecutive year and sixth overall, Ive attempted to project all of the compensatory draft picks the NFL will award. During the past three years, Ive averaged 24.7 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 4.0 more. 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 1993, Ive 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 small adjustments for playing time and postseason honors. A simple method of determining for which qualifying free agents a team will be compensated is this -- for every player signed, cancel out a lost player of similar value. For example, if a team signs one qualifying player for $2 million per season and loses two qualifying players, one who got $1.8 million per season and one who got $4 million per season, the team will be compensated for the $4 million player. It is possible for a team to get a compensatory pick even if it doesnt suffer a net loss of qualifying free agents, although those type of comp picks come 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 eight of these 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 signed. In all eight cases, those teams lost the same number of qualifying free agents as they signed. No team has ever been awarded a comp pick after signing more qualifying free agents than they lost, no matter how significant the difference in combined value. I should note that my comp pick formula is merely an attempt to project the results of the actual (secret) formula, which Im sure is more precise and complicated than my simple simulation. I dont pretend to know the actual formula. But I think previous results indicate that my formula 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 on July 22 last year); if he signs after June 1, he must have been tendered a June 1 qualifying offer by his old team; he must sign for at least a certain amount of money per season; 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. Last year, the lowest-paid player who qualified for the NFLs comp equation was Bobby Hamilton, who signed for $685,000 per season and started 15 games. The highest-paid player who did not qualify was Cornell Green, who signed for $710,000 per season and played only one play and that was on special teams. To determine the approximate cutoff points for this years comps, I raised last years cutoffs by the same percentage as the increase in RFA tenders from 2004 to 2005, which was 4.5 percent. That means a player whose playing time in 2005 was equal to Bobby Hamiltons in 2004, and who signed for about $715,000 per season, should qualify for the equation. But a player who signed for about $742,000 and almost never played (for reasons other than being on Injured Reserve) should not qualify. Determining whether players who signed for less than $800,000 per season qualify for the equation is one of the most difficult tasks when trying to project the comps. There were nine players on the bubble this year, including one whose case is the first of its kind. Kyle Vanden Bosch signed a one-year contract for only $480,000, but he started all 16 games and made the Pro Bowl. For years, Ive wondered whether a Pro Bowl player automatically would qualify for the comp equation regardless of his salary, and now we should find out. Im projecting that Vanden Bosch will qualify. The eight other bubble players are Anthony Thomas ($1.0 million, cut after eight weeks), Todd Peterson ($790,000, 16 GP/16 GS as kicker), Keith Burns ($790,000, played almost exclusively on special teams), Shad Meier ($770,000, played less than 30 plays all season), Stockar McDougle ($750,000, 8 Games Played/2 Games Started), Matt Lehr ($710,000, 15 GP/15 GS), Antowain Smith ($690,000, 16 GP/7 GS) and Roberto Garza (signed for $594,000 but renegotiated to $1.585 million in December, 16 GP/7 GS). Im projecting that Vanden Bosch, Burns, Meier, McDougle, Lehr and Garza will qualify but Thomas (cut too soon) and Smith (salary too low) will not. Other than determining which players do or do not qualify for the equation, the most difficult thing about projecting the comp picks is determining the value range for each round. Last year, regardless of playing time or postseason honors, third-round comp players got at least $5.167 million per season, fourth-round comp players got $4.167 million to $5.5 million, fifth-round comp players got $2.6 million to $3.589 million, sixth-round comp players got $1.967 million to $2.91 million, and seventh-round players got $1.75 million or less. When determining the approximate ranges for this years comps, I again used a 4.5-percent increase over last years levels and adjusted for playing time and postseason honors. 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. 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, Im projecting that there will be only 25 true comp picks awarded, so there should be seven non-compensatory picks awarded, to Houston, New Orleans, Green Bay, San Francisco, Oakland, Tennessee and the New York Jets, in that order. Here are the projected picks, along with the compensatory player, their games played/started and their average contract value THIRD ROUND N.Y. Jets (LaMont Jordan, $5.51 million, 14 GP/14 GS) FOURTH ROUND Denver (Reggie Hayward, $5.0 million, 15/15) Pittsburgh (Kendrell Bell, $4.974 million, 16/14) Baltimore (Gary Baxter, $5.004 million, 5/5 IR) Pittsburgh (Plaxico Burress, $4.167 million, 16/15) Baltimore (Edgerton Hartwell, $4.375 million, 5/5 IR) FIFTH ROUND Philadelphia (Derrick Burgess, $3.491 million, 16/12, Pro Bowl) Green Bay (Marco Rivera, $3.80 million, 14/14) Pittsburgh (Oliver Ross, $3.50 million, 12/11) Tampa Bay (Dwight Smith, $3.04 million, 15/15) Tennessee (Andre Dyson, $3.501 million, 10/6) Baltimore (Casey Rabach, $2.825 million, 16/16) SIXTH ROUND Philadelphia (Jermane Mayberry, $3.009 million, 11/ New England (David Patten, $2.60 million, 9/7 IR) New England (Joe Andruzzi, $2.194 million, 13/13) Indianapolis (Rick DeMulling, $2.275 million, 14/5) SEVENTH ROUND Baltimore (Bennie Anderson, $1.706 million, 16/15) Tampa Bay (Chartric Darby, $1.0 million, 14/14) St. Louis (Tommy Polley, $800,000, 16/15) St. Louis (Matt Lehr, $710,000, 15/15) Tampa Bay (Keith Burns, $790,000, 15/1) Detroit (Stockar McDougle, $750,000, (8/2) Buffalo (net value; lost $9.49 million, 19/19, IR ; signed $3.409 million, 26/23) Seattle (net value; lost $12.167 million, 47/43; signed $7.001 million, 40/35) Washington (net value; lost $10.075 million, 24/21; signed $5.425 million, 25/23 IR) Houston (non-compensatory) New Orleans (non-compensatory) Green Bay (non-compensatory) San Francisco (non-compensatory) Oakland (non-compensatory) Tennessee (non-compensatory) New York Jets (non-compensatory) Eleven of the comp picks Ive projected appear to be on the borderline between two rounds, or at least close to the borderline. So it wouldnt surprise me if the comp pick for Jordan is in the fourth round; if the comp picks for Baxter, Hayward and Bell are in the third round; if the comp pick for Rivera is in the fourth round; if the comp picks for Smith, Dyson and Rabach are in the sixth round; if the comp picks for Mayberry and Patten are in the fifth round; or if the comp pick for Anderson is in the sixth round. Here are the qualifying players lost and signed (in order of value) for the 15 teams that Im projecting will receive true comp picks BALTIMORE Lost Gary Baxter, Edgerton Hartwell, Casey Rabach, Bennie Anderson, Travis Taylor, Marques Douglas. Signed Keydrick Vincent, Tommy Polley. BUFFALO Lost Jonas Jennings, Pat Williams. Signed Bennie Anderson, Kelly Holcomb. DENVER Lost Reggie Hayward, Kenoy Kennedy, Donnie Spragan. Signed Stephen Alexander, Keith Burns. DETROIT Lost Stephen Alexander, Mike McMahon, Stockar McDougle. Signed Kenoy Kennedy, Rick DeMulling. GREEN BAY Lost Marco Rivera, Bhawoh Jue. Signed Adrian Klemm. INDIANAPOLIS Lost Rick DeMulling. Signed none. NEW ENGLAND Lost David Patten, Joe Andruzzi, Adrian Klemm. Signed Monty Beisel. N.Y. JETS Lost LaMont Jordan, Kareem McKenzie, Jason Ferguson, Anthony Becht. Signed Derrick Blaylock, Lance Legree, Barry Gardner. PHILADELPHIA Lost Derrick Burgess, Jermane Mayberry, Ike Reese. Signed Mike McMahon. PITTSBURGH Lost Kendrell Bell, Plaxico Burress, Oliver Ross, Keydrick Vincent. Signed Cedrick Wilson. SEATTLE Lost Ken Lucas, Chike Okeafor, Orlando Huff. Signed Andre Dyson, Bryce Fisher, Chartric Darby. ST. LOUIS Lost Bryce Fisher, Tommy Polley, Matt Lehr. Signed Chris Claiborne. TAMPA BAY Lost Dwight Smith, Cosey Coleman, Chartric Darby, Keith Burns. Signed Anthony Becht. TENNESSEE Lost Andre Dyson, Shad Meier. Signed Kyle Vanden Bosch. WASHINGTON Lost Fred Smoot, Antonio Pierce. Signed Casey Rabach, David Patten. If Im wrong about any of the eight bubble players, that could affect the comp picks. Heres what would happen in each case If Kyle Vanden Bosch does not qualify but Shad Meier and Antowain Smith both do, Tennessee will get seventh-round comp picks for Meier and Smith instead of a non-compensatory seventh-round pick, and the New York Jets wont get a non-compensatory seventh-round pick. If Kyle Vanden Bosch does not qualify but either Shad Meier or Antowain Smith does (but not both), Tennessee will get a seventh-round comp pick for that player instead of a non-compensatory seventh-round pick. If Kyle Vanden Bosch, Shad Meier and Antowain Smith all do not qualify, there is no change in the comp picks Ive projected. If Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antowain Smith qualify but Shad Meier does not, there is no change. If Kyle Vanden Bosch qualifies but Shad Meier and Antowain Smith dont, Tennessee wont get a fifth-round comp pick for Andre Dyson, and Detroit will get a non-compensatory seventh-round pick. If Anthony Thomas and Roberto Garza both qualify, or if both do not qualify, there is no change. If Anthony Thomas qualifies but Roberto Garza does not, Chicago will get a seventh-round comp pick for Thomas, and the New York Jets wont get a non-compensatory seventh-round pick. If Roberto Garza qualifies but Todd Peterson and Matt Lehr dont, Atlanta will get a seventh-round comp pick for Jay Feely ($867,000, 16 GP/16 GS as kicker), and St. Louis wont get a seventh-round comp pick for Matt Lehr. If Mett Lehr does not qualify but Roberto Garza and Todd Peterson do, or if none of the three players qualify, St. Louis wont get a seventh-round comp pick for Lehr, and Detroit will get a non-compensatory seventh-round pick. If Todd Peterson does not qualify but Matt Lehr and Roberto Garza do, there is no change. If Keith Burns does not qualify, Denver will get a fifth- or sixth-round comp pick for Kenoy Kennedy ($2.80 million, 16 GP/16 GS), and Tampa Bay wont get a seventh-round comp pick for Burns. If Stockar McDougle does not qualify, Detroit wont get a seventh-round comp for McDougle, and Miami will get a net value comp pick in the seventh round (lost $8.567 million, 42 GP/41 GS; signed $3.233 million, 48 GP/34 GS). If a combination of the other scenarios for bubble players results in more than seven non-compensatory picks being added, the order of teams that would receive those picks after the Jets is Detroit, Arizona, Buffalo, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Cleveland. This years compensatory picks should be awarded sometime around March 26. After theyre announced, Ill review what the NFL did and where my projections were incorrect (although Ive already presented some other possibilities).