Recent Posts by

Explaining The Broncos’ 2023 Free Agent Signings

This is a crosspost containing an introductory snippet of an article written at Broncos Contracts.

This was an unusual start of the new league year for the Broncos where they were extremely active on the unrestricted free agent market. I cannot recall seeing such a blistering pace in a very long time. There is reason behind why the Broncos did this, of course. But because there were so many signings over a short time frame, I decided to do something a little different this time around: take a pause, let the details of the contracts arrive and sink in, and then proceed with discussion all at once.

I’ll break this effort into two pieces. This first part will be a factual look at the contracts that were signed. This article will then be followed up by a second part in where I offer my opinion on what they all mean.


2024 Compensatory Picks Potential

The 2023 league year in the NFL officially starts on Wednesday, March 15. The two day negotiating period of free agency commences on Monday, March 13, and it is then when we would typically get first knowledge of the largest contracts to be signed. With those contracts signed come the assignment of some players as compensatory free agents (CFAs), and thus the generation of compensatory picks for the 2023 NFL Draft. Now that we know which players will be effectively taken out of free agency via the franchise tag, thus it’s time to take a look at what comp pick potential teams might be looking at.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills chose not to use the franchise tag on either Jordan Poyer or Tremaine Edmunds, meaning that they should highlight a strong potential CFA group for the Bills. Devin Singletary is one of many running backs that could see action on the free agent market. 20 total pending UFAs should allow the Bills to make some lower level CFA signings if they so desire while protecting higher comp picks should any of Poyer, Edmumds, or Singletary depart. Potential: Moderate

Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki did not receive another franchise tag, and thus will head a very deep pending UFA class of 27 players. This includes quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running backs Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and Myles Gaskin, wide receiver Trent Sherfield, edge rushers Andrew Van Ginkel and Melvin Ingram, linebacker Elandon Roberts, defensive backs Eric Rowe and Nik Needham, and special teamers Justin Bethel and Clayton Fejedelem. The Dolphins may not become eligible for a large quality of comp picks beyond Gesicki, but the quantity could be great, and that could allow Miami to shop for CFAs of their own while protecting a comp pick for Gesicki’s departure in particular. Potential: High

New England Patriots

The Patriots decided not to place the franchise tag on Jonathan Jones, so if he is not extended before he hits the market he could be one comp pick target for New England. Jakobi Meyers could also be one of the highlights of a shallow wide receiver free agency class that could treat him with a good contract. The same holds for Isaiah Wynn at right tackle. Any comp picks the Patriots receive may be limited, but they usually make an effort to be aware of any that they can get. Potential: Moderate

New York Jets

There are a few scattered names among the Jets pending UFAs that could sign CFA worthy deals–Quincy Williams, Connor McGovern, Lamarcus Joyner, Nate Herbig, Sheldon Rankins, George Fant–but none seem like free agents that would generate top tier comp picks. Perhaps Mike White could be the most notable name to watch as a departure from New York, as quarterbacks even on decent backup quarterback contracts can usually generate eligible comp picks. Potential: Low

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are expected to not be awarded any compensatory picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, which would break the longest active streak of 12 straight drafts. 2024 doesn’t look very promising either: Marcus Peters and Ben Powers might be the only two players that might generate significant CFA contracts elsewhere. Never, ever count out the Ravens in prioritizing comp picks, but they also have the good sense to not let them hijack roster building. If the Ravens are going to get any compensation from future drafts via their free agents, it may only be if non-exclusive franchise tagged Lamar Jackson departs. Potential: Low

Cincinnati Bengals

Jessie Bates was not given another franchise tag, and he and fellow safety teammate Vonn Bell should be in high demand for teams looking to improve that position. Hayden Hurst and Germaine Pratt are two other Bengals that could see decent contracts on the open market. The Bengals aren’t afraid to let players walk that don’t fit their budget, and that naturally puts them in good comp pick fetching situations. This offseason, there may also be greater feedback here if they are planning for large extensions for Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. Potential: Moderate

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have an eclectic collection of pending UFAs. Jadeveon Clowney, having being drafted 1st overall many years ago, is always prime to get a decent contract on those grounds. Ethan Pocic is a center that has been getting heightened buzz among teams looking to improve at that position. Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson are a pair of running backs that could get attention despite a deep market. Greedy Williams and Ronnie Harrison are a pair of younger defensive backs to watch for as well. But perhaps the most notable potential CFA running under the radar is Jacoby Brissett, who played in relief of the suspended Deshaun Watson. It’s very unclear whether any of these players departing Cleveland would generate significant comp picks, or whether the Browns even care to pursue them. But one can envision a case. Potential: Moderate

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have a wide number of defensive players hitting free agency, including Devin Bush, Terrell Edmunds, Cameron Sutton, Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, and Robert Spillane. None of them look to be top free agents, but many look to be at least able to garner CFA worthy contracts. But the bigger question for Pittsburgh is whether they should instead try to leverage Kenny Pickett’s rookie contract to make some key veteran acquisitions in free agency now to help him and the team take the next step forward. Potential: Low

Houston Texans

Once again the Texans enter free agency with a very shallow group of pending UFAs Perhaps someone like a Jonathan Owens or an Ogbonnia Okoronwko could get a CFA worthy deal elsewhere. But with a shallow overall roster and a considerable amount of cap space, Houston should be poised to sign several CFAs of their own to deepen that roster. Potential: Very Low

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have a small but key number of potential CFAs to watch out for. Yannick Ngakoue is still only 28 years old and could get a look from teams looking for edge rush help. Bobby Okereke has been a reliable linebacker alonside Shaquille Leonard. Parris Campbell could also get interest for teams trying to fish a wide receiver out of a low stocked pond. The question will be whether the Colts desire to protect any of the possible comp picks these players could generate alongside any external signings they want to make. Potential: Moderate

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have been regular big spenders in free agency for many offseasons, and last offseason it feels like they finally nailed it with many successful signings. Could that translate them to hold off a bit this time around? Well, Trevor Lawrence still has one more year of non-extendable rookie contract play to contribute, so it might not hurt to find a way to keep spending. But what could be more constricting for comp pick generation is only 11 pending UFAs after franchise tagging Evan Engram, and Jawaan Taylor and Arden Key might be only two left that could generate significant comp picks. Dawaune Smoot looked to join them but a late season Achilles tear may tragically impede his next contract. If the Jaguars want comp picks, they may have to hold off on CFA signings of their own, and there’s a case that they shouldn’t necessarily do so despite last offseason’s success. Potential: Low

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are 2nd in the league in pending UFAs at 29, but the quality does not quite follow from there: David Long, Nate Davis, and Austin Hooper might be the only ones that will generate high enough comp picks. The Titans have also cut several veterans, and all that turnover may necessitate making several CFA signings in order to replenish the roster alongside all their UFAs they do not retain. Potential: Low

Denver Broncos

Dre’Mont Jones is the leading name to watch out for coming out of Denver, as many consider that he will get a very good contract among UFA interior defensive linemen. Dalton Risner has been a very reliable guard for the Broncos throughout his rookie contract, Alex Singleton was a breakout surprise coming in relief of injuries at linebacker, and even Cameron Fleming could see a CFA worthy contract as teams look to improve a key position at tackle. If the Broncos let any of these players depart they will need to sign replacements, but they could easily leverage the free agency market as a whole to ensure that they at least get a high comp pick should they not retain Jones. Potential: Moderate

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs did not franchise tag Orlando Brown, Jr. a second time, and that should headline a likely 3rd round comp pick available for Kansas City if they do not re-sign him. But even beyond him, the Chefs have Juan Thornhill, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Derrick Nnadi, Andrew Wylie, Mecole Hardman, and Justin Watson slated for unrestricted free agency. That is a lot for the Chiefs to work with as they decide if they want to sign CFAs of their own while protecting the possible Brown 3rd. Potential: Very High

Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs was franchise tagged to take the Raiders’ most prominent UFA out of the compensatory formula, but there are a few other names that could get some attention. Mack Hollins was a surprise emergence at wide receiver on a one year contract. Rock Ya-Sin completed his rookie contract after Las Vegas traded Ngakoue for him. Foster Moreau may be ready to step out of Darren Waller’s shadow. 26 total pending UFAs don’t hurt either, but what could hurt the Raiders’ potential is a large amount of cap space that could be spent on external CFAs to fill those roster spots. Potential: Low

Los Angeles Chargers

The two potential CFAs for the Chargers to watch should they leave are Drue Tranquill and Nasir Adderley, both high snap contributors on their defense last season. There is not much else on a somewhat short list of 15 pending UFAs, and the Chargers will have to ask themselves whether they think they can squeeze out one more round of spending before they try to extend Justin Herbert. Potential: Low

Dallas Cowboys

Dalton Schultz was not given another franchise tag, and thus he’ll be another top tight end to hit the market. Leighton Vander Esch should also see a good contract as one of the better linebackers available. Safety Donovan Wilson, guard Connor McGovern, wide receiver Noah Brown, and cornerback Anthony Brown were also contributors in Dallas that could find CFA worthy deals. Since the Cowboys focus more on rewarding their own instead of dipping into external free agents, that modus operandi is one that naturally leads to comp picks coming their way, and they have the ability to repeat that this time around. Potential: High

New York Giants

The Giants have a decent number of pending UFAs at 19, but none of them really stand out as players able to get CFA worthy deals beyond the 7th round. It might be best for the Giants to continue to improve a roster that surprised last season with some veteran talent in order to turn the surprise into something sustainable. Potential: Very Low

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have many contributors from their NFC winning roster set to hit the market. Javon Hargrave, James Bradberry, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Jr., Isaac Seumalo, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Marcus Epps, and Miles Sanders make up a long list of players who should be capable of getting CFA contract valued higher than the 7th round. It would not surprise at all if the Eagles are able to make a CFA signing or two of their own without jeopardizing the quanitity of comp picks they get due to the maximum limit of four per draft. Potential: Very High

Washington Commanders

Franchise tagging Daron Payne took the Commanders’ leading CFA candidate by far off the board, and what’s left is an unnotable list of pending UFAs that are both low in quality and quantity. This would be a much better offseason for the Commanders to utilize that scarcity into acquiring some CFA veterans without fear of losing good comp picks. Potential: Very Low

Chicago Bears

The Bears have a decent amount of players slated for unrestricted free agency, but it’s tough to find any that will sign notable CFA worthy contracts. With a league leading amount of cap space and a roster that is still desiccated in talent in many ways, the Bears will likely need to spend well in free agency to flourish their roster. Potential: Very Low

Detroit Lions

The Lions have a few UFAs under the age of 30 to watch for–Alex Anzalone, DeShon Elliott, Jamaal Williams, Mike Hughes, DJ Chark–but none would appear to move the needle much in the compensatory formula. The Lions were another team that beat expectations in 2022, and getting a little more veteran talent to make the push to the next step in 2023 could be in order as part of the larger plan. Potential: Low

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have only 14 pending UFAs, but some are notable enough to consider. Allen Lazard leads that list as the latest wide receiver from Green Bay to hit the market, and beside him are a few older players like Adrian Amos, Robert Tonyan, and Jarran Reed who could end up on a CFA cancellation chart. There’s not a lot for the Packers to work with here but they have a reputation for prioritizing comp picks so they shouldn’t be counted out even if what’s awarded is miminal. Potential: Moderate

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have a very solid contingent of pending UFAs. Garrett Bradbury, Alexander Mattison, and Irv Smith, Jr. are all younger players looking for their first bigger veteran contract. Dalvin Tomlinson continues to play well as he looks for his third contract. Chandon Sullivan was a surprise heavy contributor that might look to take the next step elsewhere, and Patrick Peterson cannot be counted out to continue an outstanding career. Potential: High

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have a high number of pending UFAs at 23, and there are a couple of names to watch for here at positions in limited supply: Kaleb McGary at right tackle, and Olamide Zaccheaus at wide receiver. But offsetting this is a team that could still stand to improve its roster as a whole significantly, and a lot of cap space to do it via veterans. If the Falcons see a higher number of free agents depart for CFA qualifying deals, it might make sense to try to save room for a comp pick should McGary or Zaccheaus leave, but the effort might also not be worth it compared to potential CFA gains. Potential: Low

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers might be able to squeeze a comp pick or two out of the likes of Matt Ioannidis or Bradley Bozeman, and Sam Darnold cannot be counted out to get a CFA worthy deal even as a backup due to his pedigree of being picked 3rd overall. But that’s about it for Carolina, and this could be yet another team that’s better suited to prefer signing veteran CFAs over comp picks. Potential: Low

New Orleans Saints

It’s an annual tradition of the Saints stretching the salary cap to its maximum flexibility, and they proved it again already this offseason by finding a way to sign Derek Carr as their new quarterback. This should put them in a position to see some notable pending UFAs walk for CFA deals, such as Marcus Davenport, PJ Williams, or David Onyemata. (Note that Michael Thomas is not eligible to become a CFA due to having his contract shortened via renegotiation.) The Saints may not care about comp picks but they might not need to care that much to get some. Potential: Moderate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers may be poised to take a step back from their Super Bowl run with Tom Brady after accruing very high cap charges against their team this season. This may make it impractical to retain some of their CFA worthy players like Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, or Mike Edwards. Also included here is stalwart Lavonte David, though as such a stalwart that has accrued more than 10 seasons, the maximum round a comp pick can be fetched for his departure is at the 5th round. Potential: High

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals lead the league in pending UFAs with 31, and there are a few here that should be able to get good CFA contracts, such as Zach Allen or Byron Murphy. The quality might not be high beyond them, but the quantity plus the way the Cardinals generally operate tends to send comp picks their way, even if most would be 7th rounders. Potential: High

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are a team that likes to focus on getting comp picks, yet this time around there’s not a whole lot of notable names to get them with. Perhaps players like Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, or A’Shawn Robinson could get CFA worthy deals. Baker Mayfield also cannot be counted out even as a backup quarterback due to being taken 1st overall. The question will be what path the Rams deem to be the best from bouncing back from a very disappointing Super Bowl defense campaign. Potential: Moderate

San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo will head this list, as a contract that pays him even as a borderline starter will push the comp pick value into the 3rd round. Mike McGlinchey is right behind as he was not franchise tagged and should be a desirable target for teams looking to improve at right tackle. Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam are a pair of edge rushers in a position that’s always desired for depth. The same holds for Emmanuel Moseley at corner. Just based on Garoppolo’s availability alone, that should keep the 49ers very mindful of the regular comp picks they can add alongside their 2020 Resolution JC-2A comp picks that they have been dominant in being awarded more than any other team by far. Potential: Very High

Seattle Seahawks

With Geno Smith extended, that takes the Seahawks top comp pick candidate off the board. There could be some useful CFA worthy players to depart Seattle, like Rashaad Penny, Poona Ford, or Cody Barton. The question is whether the Seahawks will think that’s worth it in lieu of getting a little more veteran help in the brave new world that they are trying to pave out. Potential: Low

Projecting The 2023 Compensatory Picks

This article refers specifically to OTC’s final projection for the 2023 NFL Draft’s compensatory picks. For details on the basics and methodology of projecting compensatory picks in general, please reference this article. Note that this projection does not include compensatory picks awarded via 2020 Resolution JC-2A.

To understand how this projection is generated for each team, please reference the compensatory pick cancellation charts here.

The Projection

TeamRdCompensated Departure
ARI3Christian Kirk
WAS3Brandon Scherff
NE4J.C. Jackson
LAR4Darious Williams
ARI5Chandler Jones
DAL5Randy Gregory
GB5Marquez Valdes-Scantling
LAR5Austin Corbett
SF5D.J. Jones
LV5Zay Jones
TB5Jordan Whitehead
DAL5Connor Williams
MIN5Tyler Conklin
NE6Ted Karras
LAR6Sebastian Joseph-Day
DAL6Cedrick Wilson Jr.
ARI6Chase Edmonds
LV6Casey Hayward
WAS6Tim Settle
SF6Arden Key
KC6Byron Pringle
NYG6Lorenzo Carter
KC6Jarran Reed
LAR7Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
TB7O.J. Howard
NYG7Keion Crossen
SF7K’Waun Williams
GB7Chandon Sullivan
KC7Mike Hughes
NE7Brandon Bolden
GB7Oren Burks
NO7Net Value

This draft, I am projecting that there will be 31 compensatory picks generated from the typical netting process, as well as a 32nd comp pick that is generated from the “net value” process. A net value compensatory pick has not been awarded since 2013, so it is worth explaining how it is awarded. Per Appendix V, Paragraph 5 of the CBA:

Notwithstanding Paragraph 3(a) above, if a Club loses the same number of CFAs as it signs or acquires, it will receive a Compensatory Draft Selection if the sum of the Final Numerical Values of all CFAs lost is more than 300 points greater than the sum of the Final Numerical Values of all CFAs signed or acquired by the Club. Any such selection shall occur after all Compensatory Draft Selections at the end of the seventh round have been exercised, but prior to the exercise of any Supplemental Selections under Article 6, Subsection 2(a).

In this draft, I project that at least one team, New Orleans, will earn a net value compensatory pick. This results from the Saints seeing two players, Terron Armstead and Marcus Williams, depart for high value contracts ($15.95M APY and $14M APY, for compensatory pick purposes), while signing two players, Marcus Maye and Andy Dalton, for lower valued contracts ($7.5M APY and $4M APY). Armstead are ranked #98 and #144, generating points of 1,943 and 1,840, while Maye and Dalton are ranked #297 and #436, generating points of 1,747 and 1,595. The net value resulting from the differences of those sums, 3,842 and 3,342, is 505 points, well above the 300 point threshold.

There is also a chance that Chicago and Minnesota could be awarded net value comp picks. For the Bears, it’s the only way they could earn any comp picks, but for the Vikings it would be massively disappointing, as their more likely scenarios have them earning at least one comp pick of a higher round, and perhaps two.

This projection anticipates exactly 32 eligible regular compensatory picks. If there are any eligible picks that rank 33rd and lower, they will not be awarded, although the official release will typically acknowledge presence of any comp picks in excess of 32. There is a chance that fewer than 32 regular compensatory will be awarded. If that happens, the NFL Management Council will add supplementary 7th round compensatory picks to get to 32, in the order of what would be the eighth round. This draft, the first five teams in order for supplementary comp picks would be Chicago, Houston, Arizona, Indianapolis, and the Los Angeles Rams.

The official release has been inconsistent in recent years. There used to be some new consistency on the release coming out on the Friday before the NFL Scouting Combine. This year, that is scheduled for February 28-March 6, so the Friday before would be February 24. However, last year it was released on March 15, and the year before on March 10. The range of the release could be anywhere after the Super Bowl (February 12) but before the start of free agency (March 15).

Cutoff Projections

The most difficult part of projecting the compensatory picks is accurately identifying where the cutoffs lie between each rounds, and where the cutoff for qualifying as a Compensatory Free Agent (CFA) is. That is because the larger subset of the leaguewide players of which the smaller subset of compensatory free agents are judged against is never the same size, and requires accurately tracking roster transactions for thousands of players–a feat that will always have a margin of error.

The key number that determines these cutoffs is, per Appendix V, Paragraph 2(a) of the CBA, is the number of “all other League players on rosters at the conclusion of the regular season”. This draft, I will be repeating an effort from the last projection, in which I consider two possibilities for this number as a range. OTC’s database has identified 2,097 players that were either on the active roster or reserve lists at the end of the regular season. However, I believe that the number will be closer to the average of the estimated number of leaguewide players in previous sets of compensatory picks, dating back to 2014. This average comes out to 1,978, and is the number that is used for the above projection. If that number is closer to accurate, here is where the cutoffs would lie:

RoundPercentileOverall RankRepresentative Player
3rd/4th95th (top 5%)98Terron Armstead
4th/5th90th (top 10%)197Sam Hubbard
5th/6th85th (top 15%)296Daniel Jones
6th/7th75th (top 25%)494Azeez Al-Shaair
7th/Qualify65th (top 35%)692Oren Burks

Players On The Cutoff Bubbles

While it is my hope that my projection of where the cutoffs lie is correct, there is enough of a margin of error that the players that are close to them may fall on the opposite side of where I have them projected. In most cases, if I’m wrong it means that the team in question will still get a comp pick for that player, but that it may be in a round higher or lower. But in a few cases (those are bolded), it could change cancellations, possibly taking away or greatly devaluing a projected comp pick—or possibly adding or greatly upgrading a comp pick.




  • Darious Williams (Los Angeles Rams): #188
  • Projected 4th/5th cutoff: #197
  • Randy Gregory (Dallas): #205


  • Mark Glowinski (New York Giants): #288
  • Tyler Conklin (Minnesota): #295
  • Projected 5th/6th cutoff: #296
  • Ted Karras (New England): #304


  • Lucas Patrick (Green Bay): #487
  • Jarran Reed (Kansas City/Green Bay): #491
  • Projected 6th/7th cutoff: #494


  • Mike Hughes (Kansas City): #680
  • Brandon Bolden (New England/Las Vegas): #687
  • Solomon Thomas (Las Vegas): #691
  • Oren Burks (Green Bay/San Francisco): #692
  • Projected 7th/Qualifying cutoff: #692
  • Pat O’Donnell (Chicago/Green Bay): #700
  • Chris Reed (Indianapolis/Minnesota): #724
  • Tom Compton (San Francisco): #725

Qualifying/Valuation Questions

The major question for this draft’s projection deals with how the compensatory formula treats CFAs that have ten or more accrued seasons upon signing. Appendix V, Paragraph 4 of the CBA states the following:

Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph 3(b) above, no Club shall be entitled to a Compensatory Draft Selection before the end of the fifth round for any CFA (excluding quarterbacks) with ten or more Accrued Seasons at the time of signing with his new Club.

This draft, there are two players, Von Miller and Chandler Jones, who will be subject to this rule given that they both signed for contracts that would otherwise clearly qualify for the 3rd round. In the case of Jones, this is straightforward: since the Cardinals did not sign any CFAs, there is no one to cancel out Jones’s departure, so the comp pick they will get for his departure will get demoted to a 5th rounder, regardless of the netting process.

But for Miller, this may be more complex than I thought. Initially, I had thought this would also be straightforward for Miller, and that his contract would be considered as a 5th round in all aspects of the compensatory formula–both in netting and valuation.

However, after consultation with multiple sources OTC considers reliable, I no longer believe this to be the case. Putting emphasis on “[n]otwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph 3(b) above”, which dictates the percentile system that values each contract into a round, I now believe that for purposes of netting, the compensatory formula will consider Miller’s contract to be of a 3rd round value.

This is potentially good news for the Rams. If Miller, the team’s highest otherwise valued departure, were to be canceled by the signing of their highest (and only)–Allen Robinson–this would leave their second highest departure open for a comp pick. That is Darious Williams, whose contract is likely to be valued in the 4th round. However, there is one more potential twist: Robinson’s contract is also likely to be valued in the 4th round. Under the normal netting process, the Williams and Robinson contracts would still cancel out, leaving Miller’s contract open–which by Paragraph 4 cannot be awarded by a 3rd round pick. But this does not make practical sense: it would mean that if the Rams had signed Robinson to a higher valued contract, they would have gotten a higher comp pick, which is in pretty clear violation of the spirit of the compensatory system.

Therefore, I am projecting that regardless of the precise rounds that the contracts of Miller and Robinson are valued in, that they will cancel each other out, leaving open a 4th round pick to the Rams for the departure of Williams. But I could be wrong on two fronts, that leave Los Angeles with a 5th here instead of a 4th. One, of course, is if I misinterpret the netting process as I stated above. The other is that there’s a chance that Williams’s contract could be valued as a 5th. If that happens, my hope is that I will notice this by missing on other comp picks due to all of the cutoffs shifting higher than I thought.

Beyond the major question described above, I have attempted to pay close attention to incentives earned this time around, something that I could have done better in last draft’s projection. Perhaps the most notable player to watch in this regard is Chandon Sullivan, who had $400,000 of incentives tied to high snap counts and team improvement metrics. Sullivan definitely satisfied the snap counts, and OTC is projecting that the Vikings met the team improvement requirement. But that could be wrong, and if it is, it will impact the projection for both Minnesota and Green Bay.

Possible Altering Scenarios

  • Chicago
    • If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, Chicago could be eligible for a net value 7th, but it would be very close to missing the 300 point threshold.
  • Green Bay
    • If Chandon Sullivan does not qualify, Green Bay will not get a 7th for his departure.
    • If Oren Burks does not qualify, Green Bay will not get a 7th for his departure.
    • If Chandon Sullivan, Oren Burks, and Pat O’Donnell all qualify, Green Bay will not get the higher of two 7ths, likely canceling out Sullivan.
    • If at least one of Chandon Sullivan or Oren Burks qualify, Pat O’Donnell does not qualify, Lucas Patrick’s contract is valued in the 6th round, and Jarran Reed’s contract is valued in the 7th round, Green Bay will get a 6th for Patrick instead of a 7th for either Sullivan or Burks.
    • If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, and one of Chandon Sullivan or Oren Burks do not qualify, nothing changes for Green Bay.
    • If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, and both Chandon Sullivan and Oren Burks do not qualify, Green Bay will get nothing.
  • Indianapolis
    • If Chris Reed qualifies, Indianapolis will get a 7th for his departure.
  • Kansas City
    • If Mike Hughes does not qualify, Kansas City will not get a 7th for his departure.
  • Las Vegas
    • If Brandon Bolden qualifies and Solomon Thomas does not qualify, Las Vegas will not get a 6th for either Quinton Jefferson or Casey Hayward.
  • Los Angeles Rams
    • If Von Miller’s contract is ruled to cancel out Darious Williams’s contract instead of Allen Robinson’s, or Williams’s contract is valued in the 5th round, the Los Angeles Rams will get a 5th for either Miller or Williams instead of a 4th for Williams.
  • Minnesota
    • If Tyler Conklin’s contract is valued in the 6th round, Minnesota will get a 6th for Mason Cole instead of a 5th for Conklin.
    • If Chandon Sullivan and Chris Reed do not qualify, Minnesota will get a 6th for Xavier Woods.
    • If Chandon Sullivan and Chris Reed qualify, Minnesota will get a net value 7th instead of a 5th or 6th for Tyler Conklin or Mason Cole.
  • New England
    • If Brandon Bolden does not qualify, New England will not get a 7th for his departure.
  • New York Giants
    • If Mark Glowinski’s contract is valued in the 6th round, the New York Giants will get a 5th for Evan Engram instead of a 6th for Lorenzo Carter.
  • San Francisco
    • If Oren Burks does not qualify, San Francisco will get a 7th for Raheem Mostert.
    • If both Oren Burks and Tom Compton qualify, San Francisco will get a 7th for Compton.

The Potential Pay Raises From 2022 Pro Bowl Honors

With voting for the Pro Bowl in its prime, and a preliminary list of leaders from the fan votes released by the NFL, here is your annual guide toward how you, as a fan (or even players, if they just so happen to read this) can maximize your Pro Bowl vote to help top players in the league earn pay raises via mechanisms in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There are two situations in the CBA where an original ballot (not as an alternate) Pro Bowl honor could result in a raise in salary:

  • Article 7, Section 4(e)(iv) creates a tier of Proven Performance Escalator that can raise the salary of a player drafted outside of the first round to the value of the 2nd round restricted free agent tender.
  • Article 7, Section 7(g)(iii-iv) calls for fifth year options on first round rookie contracts to equate to the transition tag if named to a Pro Bowl once in their first three seasons, and to the franchise tag for two or three.

Here are some of the players that could see notable raises in their salaries should they earn an original ballot Pro Bowl, grouped by conference and position. All numbers used are OTC’s estimates for the fifth year options for the 2020 first round picks, and for the franchise, transition, and RFA tenders. To maximize strategic voting, prioritize on your ballot players from the 2020 rookie class, as this will be last time they are eligible for the following pay raises.

AFC Quarterback

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Joe BurrowFifth Year Option$22,673,000$28,049,000$5,376,000
Tua TagovailoaFifth Year Option$22,673,000$28,049,000$5,376,000
Justin HerbertFifth Year Option$28,049,000$31,497,000$3,448,000

Burrow and Herbert make repeat entrances to this section from last season, with Herbert succeeding in a Pro Bowl selection back then that’s already secured him the $5.376 million raise that Burrow could still obtain this season. But joining them this time around is Tagovailoa, who is currently leading in Pro Bowl fan votes among all players. With Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen still lurking around, it’ll be daunting for all three top quarterback members of the 2020 rookie class to get in, but there should be room for at least one of them.

NFC Quarterback

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Jalen HurtsProven Performance Escalator$2,629,000$4,308,000$1,679,000

Hurts leads the NFC in fan voting, and is currently only due the lowest PPE raise due to hardly playing in his rookie season. The slight bump here that would come with a highest PPE raise possible would be nice, although it could ultimately be trumped considerably more should an extension for Hurts be on the horizon.

AFC Wide Receiver

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Ja’Marr ChaseFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$3M-5M
Jaylen WaddleFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$4M-$8M

Chase secured his first fifth year option raise from a rookie season Pro Bowl selection, and can secure the top raise with another one, although he’ll have much more competition this season, not helped by missing some time to injury. Chase will still have one more shot in 2023 if he doesn’t get it in 2022. Joining him in competition this season is Waddle, selected just one spot after Chase, who is currently 4th in the AFC in yardage. Unlike Chase, Waddle must get the Pro Bowl selection this season to maximize the value of his fifth year option.

NFC Wide Receiver

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
CeeDee LambFifth Year Option$13,511,000$17,465,000$3,954,000
Chris OlaveFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$4.5M-$9M
Amon-Ra St. BrownProven Performance EscalatorTBDTBD~$1.8M-$2.2M

Lamb, Olave, and St. Brown are currently 4th, 5th, and 7th in receiving yards in the NFC. Justin Jefferson (who’s already secured the top fifth year option raise) and AJ Brown should have two spots locked up: the question will be whether any of these three can muscle their way into remaining spots. It’s most urgent for Lamb as this will be his last chance to improve that salary.

NFC Tackle

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Andrew ThomasFifth Year Option$13,935,000$15,943,000$2,008,000
Tristan WirfsFifth Year Option$15,943,000$17,668,000$1,725,000
Christian DarrisawFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$2.5M-$5M

These three tackles are at the top of the list on our OTC Valuation metric. Wirfs got the first Pro Bowl raise on his fifth year option last season, and he has a chance to maximize it this season, while Thomas has one shot to get to the level Wirfs is at. Darrisaw has both this season and next season available for shots at the Pro Bowl

AFC Guard

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Michael OnwenuProven Performance Escalator$2,879,000$4,308,000$1,429,000
Trey SmithProven Performance EscalatorTBDTBD~$2.5M-$5M

Onwenu and Smith make repeat mentions to this list, as OTC valuation remains bullish on Onwenu, while Smith continues to excel as is typical of starting offensive linemen playing for Andy Reid.

AFC Center

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Creed HumphreyProven Performance EscalatorTBDTBD~$2.5M-$5M

What was said for Smith above can just as easily be said for his teammate Humphrey, who also leads the fan vote at his position and conference.

NFC Center

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Tyler BiadaszProven Performance Escalator$2,629,000$4,308,000$1,679,000

Biadasz might not have the level of attention that he had last season, but as he was included in this category, he remains here for one last chance.

NFC Outside Linebacker

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Micah ParsonsFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$3.5M

Parsons is the only notable name among the front seven in the NFL this time around, but he got outstanding note with a Pro Bowl honor his rookie season, and with Parsons currently second only to Nick Bosa in NFC sacks, he should be a lock to lock up that maximum raise this season.

NFC Inside Linebacker

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Jordyn BrooksFifth Year Option$11,316,000$14,778,000$3,462,000

Brooks was a surprise leader in his category among the fan vote, but a Pro Bowl nod would be quite helpful for him, due to barely being drafted in the first round in 2020.

NFC Strong Safety

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Talanoa HufangaProven Performance Escalator$1,055,000TBD~$1.8M-$2.2M

Despite playing little his rookie season, Hufanga quickly emerged to be a force in the 49ers’ defensive backfield, garnering 4 interceptions and 7 passes defensed thus far.

AFC Cornerback

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Patrick Surtain IIFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$3M-$6M
Sauce GardnerFifth Year OptionTBDTBD~$3.5M-$7M

Surtain returns to this list from last season as he continues his silent campaign of excellent coverage play, and this time he’s joined by another promising young corner in Gardner, who’s helped stabilize the defensive backfield for the Jets.

NFC Cornerback

PlayerSalary TypeCurrent SalaryPotential SalaryPotential Raise
Tariq WoolenProven Performance Escalator$1,100,000TBD ~$2M-$5M

Woolen is currently tied for the league lead in interceptions at 6, and tied for fourth in passes defensed at 12, strong numbers for a potential Pro Bowl campaign in his rookie season.

Russell Wilson Should Now Be Poised To Set Quarterback Contract Benchmarks

This is a cross post from Broncos Contracts, a new site founded aiming to particularly and fairly analyze the roster of the Denver Broncos. Consider visiting if you are interested in more upcoming big contract decisions facing the Broncos–such as similar recent articles regarding Bradley Chubb, Dalton Risner, and Dre’Mont Jones. Ways to reach out and comment can be found at the bottom of the articles, including reaching out to @nickkorte on Twitter.

* * * *

Last month, I set out some guidelines of what a Russell Wilson extension could look like. The core aim was to settle in at an APY neatly in between that of Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, but still giving Wilson cash flow and guarantee structures that would be at or near the top of the NFL.

However, I also said this:

There are also plenty of other quarterbacks that could push metrics up with their own extensions. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert will be eligible for such for the first time after this season, Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray will be pushing for their own extensions, and even Baker Mayfield could make things move if he proves his first overall pick pedigree given that he got a fresh start in Charlotte just last Wednesday. Wilson could benefit more if any of those players sign contracts beforehand.

Well, Kyler Murray did just that on July 22. And this contract now makes it clear that what I set out last month as a possibility no longer is so.


2023 Compensatory Picks Update (5/24/2022)

Normally, once the first Monday after the draft passes, I take a look at where OTC’s projection for the next slate of compensatory picks stands. This year, however, I decided to wait a couple of weeks to see if a couple of unusual transactions would yield additions and changes to the projection–which indeed happened. We’ll dig into that, as well as other unusual circumstances of this year’s projection thus far below. But first, if you have any questions about how this projection is generated, please take a look at the cancellation charts for all 32 teams here, and also refer to OTC’s compensatory formula page as a reference for where certain contracts are ranked. Also note that special compensatory picks generated from 2020 Resolution JC-2A are separate from the regular compensatory pick formula and thus are not addressed here.