2019 Compensatory Picks Projection Update (9/11/2018)

With Week 1 fully in the books, of which includes snap counts in 2017, it’s a good opportunity to take an update on where OTC’s projection of the 2018 compensatory picks stand.

TeamRoundCompensated Free AgentAPY
WAS3Kirk Cousins$28,000,000
MIN3Case Keenum$18,000,000
NE3Nate Solder$15,400,000
LAR3Sammy Watkins$15,830,000
CAR3Andrew Norwell$13,000,000
LAR3Trumaine Johnson$14,500,000
NE3Malcolm Butler$12,170,000
BAL3Ryan Jensen$10,500,000
NYG4Justin Pugh$9,005,000
IND4Donte Moncrief$9,600,000
PHI4Trey Burton$7,925,000
ATL4Dontari Poe$8,533,333
WAS5Spencer Long$6,850,000
ATL5Taylor Gabriel$6,500,000
WAS6Ryan Grant$5,000,000
NE6Dion Lewis$4,950,000
PHI6Patrick Robinson$4,925,000
PHI6Beau Allen$5,000,000
MIN6Teddy Bridgewater$5,500,000
WAS6Terrelle Pryor$4,500,000
CIN6Andre Smith$4,000,000
CIN6Chris Smith$3,900,000
SF6Aaron Lynch$3,950,000
KC6Terrance Mitchell$3,233,333
CIN6AJ McCarron$3,950,000
ARI7Jaron Brown$2,750,000
ARI7Drew Stanton$3,150,000
MIN7Tramaine Brock$3,000,000
MIN7Shamar Stephen$2,100,000
NE7Cameron Fleming$2,500,000
LAR7Cody Davis$2,500,000
ARI7Blaine Gabbert$2,000,000
Compensation over 32-pick limit; not awarded
ARI7Matt Barkley$1,400,000
LAR7Derek Carrier$1,275,000
SF7Leon Hall$1,060,000
SF7Dontae Johnson$1,060,000
IND7Frank Gore$1,105,000
SF7Tank Carradine$1,150,000
BAL7Mike Wallace$915,000
DAL7net value

Quite a few compensatory free agents (CFA) did not ultimately make their new teams’ rosters upon the cutdown to 53 players. Here are the cuts that created relevant changes to the list of projected 2019 comp picks:

  • There was a lot of activity on both sides of Dallas’s ledger. Both Jonathan Cooper and Brice Butler failed to make the rosters of San Francisco and Arizona. The Cowboys offset one of these losses by cutting Kony Ealy. However, it was not enough to avoid staying positive in the difference between CFAs lost and gained–now at two apiece. This means that Dallas’s potential 4th rounder for Anthony Hitchens has been demoted to a net value 7th that would have no reasonable chance of being within the 32 pick limit.

    It appeared that Dallas was going to rectify this by initially cutting Deonte Thompson as part of cutdown to 53. Instead, they brought him back two days later in an effort to circumvent waiver rules. But Cowboys fans should keep an eye on Thompson’s production over the next two months. If it is not good, Dallas may be better suited to let him go before Week 10 so they can regain the 4th rounder for Hitchens. A similar argument could be made for backup tackle Cameron Fleming, depending on whether the team’s depth on the offensive line can improve.

  • Cutting Cooper was not only a loss for Dallas but a gain for San Francisco. The 49ers are now projected to pick up a 6th rounder for Aaron Lynch. They also have three eligible 7th rounder for other players, but all are likely to miss the 32 pick limit.
  • The Lions saw two of their CFAs lost–Travis Swanson and Don Carey–fall off their ledger due to being cut. With only four CFAs lost to five gained, Detroit is now projected to get nothing. There is an outside chance that Carey, who was cut with an injury settlement, could still qualify, but that alone is not enough to get Detroit back on the board.
  • The Jets cut wide receiver Charles Johnson, thus costing the Carolina Panthers a 6th rounder for Ed Dickson.
  • The 49ers cut Jeremiah Attaochu, thus taking the Chargers fully out of 2019 comp pick contention, though it was only a 7th they had on the line.
  • Philadelphia improved their 2019 comp pick standing (more on that below) by cutting Corey Nelson. This kept Denver off the board despite cutting one of their own CFAs in Clinton McDonald.

With some snap counts recorded, there has also been some shuffling in the order of the comp picks. There was only one change in round that have resulted: Baltimore got their comp pick for Ryan Jensen upgraded from a 4th to a 3rd. But this, and other picks, are subject to change if players get injured or otherwise miss playing time.

Also important is the final piece of the puzzle that’s unknown for the projection: the number of leaguewide players qualifying for the formula that compensatory free agents will be judged against. Currently, that number is at 1918, but it will steadily go up during the regular season, as players are cut or placed on reserve lists, with new players signed to replace them. As this happens, some CFAs that are qualifying now may not ultimately qualify. Here are the relevant cases of that to watch:

  • The Giants got back on the board with a 4th rounder for Justin Pugh, but this happened only because Geno Smith barely made it back into qualifying range after cutdowns to 53. He’s still qualifying despite not logging any snaps, as backup quarterbacks tend to do. But he is still very much on the bubble, and unless Phillip Rivers, who has a lengthy starting streak, is unable to play, that 4th for Pugh will likely come back off the board.
  • The Falcons should be aware on how much they intend to use Logan Paulsen on offense this season. Right now, both he (a CFA signed) and Andre Roberts (a CFA lost) are barely qualifying. But Paulsen played more snaps than Roberts did on Week 1. If that continues, there may be a chance that Paulsen qualifies but Roberts does not. If that happens, the Falcons will lose a 5th rounder for Taylor Gabriel.
  • Finally, despite the best efforts of the Eagles to get Mike Wallace to not qualify for the formula, playing 91.7% of the snaps Week 1 puts him fairly comfortably in the qualifying range for now. This alone isn’t that damaging for Philadelphia, as right now Wallace is only cancelling out a 7th for LeGarrette Blount that would be on the bubble for making the 32 pick limit. But that could change if the Chargers decide to shake up their kicking position once again. Should they cut Caleb Sturgis before Week 10, Wallace would have no choice but to cancel out one of the Eagles’ 6th round picks for Beau Allen and Patrick Robinson.