Front Office Scheme Bolstered by Ability to Trade Compensatory Picks

On Friday, February 23 the NFL released its annual list of compensatory picks for the draft on April 26th (see here). Thirty-two draft picks were awarded to fifteen teams, with the Bengals, Cowboys, Packers and Raiders leading the way with four each. In a nutshell, teams receive a compensatory draft pick for each of their unrestricted free agents signed away by another team in a given offseason, minus the amount of unrestricted free agents they sign from other teams, up to a maximum of four. The teams that are awarded the picks, as well as the round in which the picks fall, are determined by the NFL using a “secret formula.” (For a detailed overview see Over The Cap: Comp Picks Explained). Full 2018 list:

2018 NFL Compensatory Draft Picks

Cincinnati 4
Dallas 4
Green Bay 4
Oakland 4
Arizona 3
Houston 3
Minnesota 2
Atlanta 1
Baltimore 1
Denver 1
Kansas City 1
LA Chargers 1
New England 1
New York Giants 1
Tampa Bay 1

With the introduction of compensatory draft picks in the 1993 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL sought to provide relief for teams that lost quality players in free agency. The picks serve as a consolation prize for a team potentially losing a key player within their organization. As with any new provision in a CBA, there are always loopholes to be exploited (and they’re usually first discovered by the Patriots). The advent of the compensatory pick was no different, and many tricks of the trade have since come to the surface.

One such example may have played a role in the Packers’ early dismissal of Martellus Bennett this past season. Putting his struggles on the field aside, Bennett was projected to count against the Packers’ compensatory pick considerations in this upcoming draft. However, one stipulation of the compensatory pick determination dictates that if a team cuts a player before Week 10 that player won’t count against their picks (it’s an added bonus when someone claims the player off waivers and bears the full burden of their contract, which is what the Patriots did with Bennett).

Beginning with the 2017 draft, the NFL owners voted to allow compensatory draft picks to be traded. This update provided further incentive for teams to stockpile comp picks, and it will likely lead to a strong uptick in another popular front office maneuver involving the comp pick formula. With 2018 free agency in full swing, prepare to see more contracts that include team options on the back end, and here’s why:

If a team decides they no longer want a player that has years remaining on his contract, they must cut him before the first day of the league year (March 14th for 2018). If a player is cut, thereby terminating his contract before its natural end, the player cannot count towards a team’s compensatory draft pick award when another team signs him. On the other hand, if a team no longer wants a player whose contract includes a club option for the upcoming season, declining to pick up the option is not considered terminating a contract before its natural end.

Although the result of a cut and declined option is the same; the team foregoes their exclusive right to retain a player, one may result in the team receiving a draft pick while the other cannot. This trick was already enticing to clubs prior to the rule change in 2017, and now that these picks may be traded we should expect to see it even more often. The traditional club option includes an option bonus; a lump sum of money treated as a signing bonus, if the team picks it up then the player has the option bonus amount prorated over the remaining years on the contract. These options were usually attached to the later years of a contract, four or five years after its execution. Recently, teams have begun including club options in contracts that are not tied to an option bonus, but are merely an agreement that the club has the right to terminate the players’ contract at the end of a season without it being considered a true cut. These “options” provide a lot of flexibility for the franchise at essentially no cost, and teams like the Ravens have begun including them after each season of a contract (more on this later).

A prime example of a club option where the team planned for a compensatory pick was Darrelle Revis’ contract with the Patriots. New England signed Revis in the 2014 offseason for 2 years, $32 million. However, here’s the contract breakdown:

($10 million total signing bonus)

Year 1 – 2014

2014 P5 Base Salary of $1.5 million fully guaranteed

2014 Per-game Roster Bonus of $500,000 (total of $500,000 over 16 games)

2014 Signing bonus of $5 million fully guaranteed

Year 2 – 2015 (Club Option)

2015 P5 Base Salary of $7.5 million

2015 Roster Bonus $12 million

2015 Per-game Roster Bonus of $500,000 (total of $500,000 over 16 games)

2015 Signing bonus of $5 million fully guaranteed

The Patriots effectively got Revis, considered by many to be the best cornerback in the NFL, for one-year, $12 million ($10 million signing bonus, $1.5 million 2014 P5 base salary, $500,000 per-game roster bonus for 2014), and won a Super Bowl in the process. The $20 million price tag for exercising the club option on Revis in 2015 ($7.5 million 2015 P5, $12 million offseason Roster Bonus, $500,000 per-game roster bonus for 2015) was presumably not going to be picked up, especially by the Patriots. Revis instead signed a monster deal with the New York Jets, and the Patriots received the second highest compensatory pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the 96th overall pick in the 3rd round.

Although perhaps not the primary reason for including the option, another example of this practice occurred in the 2017 offseason, and it certainly paid off in a big way. Prior to the start of the 2016 season the Denver Broncos signed Russell Okung (who was acting as his own agent which cannot be ignored) to a 5-year / $53 million-dollar contract. However, the contract included a club option after 2016, and the details left virtually zero incentive for the Broncos to retain Okung after one year. Take a look at the breakdown of Okung’s deal:

Year 1 – 2016

P5 Base Salary: $2 million non-guaranteed

Roster Bonus: $2 million non-guaranteed

Rehab Bonus: $1 million non-guaranteed (Okung had offseason shoulder surgery)

Okung performed adequately in 2016, but anything short of dropping back under center and slinging a few TD passes for the QB desperate Broncos pretty much assured that his club option would not be picked up. The team option ($1 million) going into Year 2, if exercised, provided Okung the following:

Year 2 – 2017

2017 P5 Base Salary of $2 million fully guaranteed

2017 Roster Bonus of $8 million fully guaranteed

2018 P5 Base Salary of $9.5 million fully guaranteed

Had the Broncos exercised Okung’s option they would have been on the hook for $19.5 million dollars fully guaranteed, after not guaranteeing him a penny in Year 1. This was never going to happen, but when Okung signed with the LA Chargers before the 2017 season (4 years / $53 million) his final contribution to Denver came in the form of the third highest compensatory pick in the entire 2018 draft. Denver selected Isaac Yiadom with the 99th overall selection in the 3rd round of 2018 thanks to Okung and a club option that all but ensured he was gone after a year. This scheme can yield tremendous returns for teams, and there is almost no downside. One can only imagine the impact on contract construction across the league now that these compensatory picks are eligible for trade, thus driving up their value.

Compensatory pick scheming can also backfire, such as a team insulting a player with a tender offer, where it is clear the only reason they extended the offer was in hopes of receiving a comp pick. This was the case with the Patriots’ handling of LeGarrette Blount. In the 2017 offseason, the Patriots extended a tender offer to Blount for one-year, $1.1 million dollars. The offer came on the last day that NFL teams would receive a comp pick if they lost a player to free agency. The Patriots had seven other running backs on their roster and had previously shown no interest in retaining Blount. New England was taking a gamble that someone else would top their offer, with the risk of just over one million dollars worth taking. Sure enough, the Eagles stepped in and beat New England’s offer, leaving the Patriots with the right to match it or potentially receive a comp pick. According to our comp pick expert, Nick Korte, Blount was just outside of the 32-compensatory pick limit, and will award the Patriots nothing. Blount certainly has the last laugh for now after steamrolling New England in the Super Bowl to the tune of 90 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries.

Now, you may be thinking there is no way a late-round draft pick could possibly make up for the loss of a good player. Well, as previously mentioned, the Patriots are known for their excellence in exploiting all that the CBA has to offer. New England used a comp pick in 2000 when they drafted a QB prospect out of Michigan by the name of Tom Brady in the 6th Round with the 199th overall (compensatory) pick. The list of notable compensatory pick selections is a long one, with franchise cornerstone players including:

Mike Vrabel – Pittsburgh Steelers, Round 3, Pick No. 91 overall, 1997

Matt Hasselbeck – Green Bay Packers, Round 6, Pick No. 187 overall, 1998

Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints, Round 7, Pick No. 252 overall, 2006

La’Roi Glover – Oakland Raiders, Round 5, Pick No. 166 overall, 1996

Hines Ward – Pittsburgh Steelers, Round 3, Pick No. 92 overall, 1998

Josh Sitton – Green Bay Packers, Round 4, Pick No. 135 overall, 2008

Antoine Bethea – Indianapolis Colts, Round 6, Pick No. 207 overall, 2006

Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts, Round 6, Pick No. 205 overall, 2008

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys, Round 4, Pick No. 135 overall, 2016

David Tyree – New York Giants, Round 6, Pick No. 211 overall, 2003

Malcolm Smith – Seattle Seahawks, Round 7, Pick No. 242 overall, 2011

Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants, Round 7, Pick No. 250 overall, 2007

Super Bowl MVPs, perennial Pro-Bowlers, and the greatest Quarterback that ever lived are just some of the compensatory picks from years past. Certain NFL teams prioritize acquiring compensatory picks far more than others, with the Ravens topping the all-time list with 49 (roughly two per draft since 1994), and the Saints bringing up the rear with just 10. Here is the full list:

SUMMARY OF COMPENSATORY DRAFT PICKS, 1994-2018

Baltimore 49
Green Bay 42
Dallas 41
New England 35
Los Angeles Rams 33
Cincinnati 32
Pittsburgh 32
Philadelphia 30
San Francisco 30
Tennessee 30
Seattle 29
Buffalo 28
Kansas City 24
New York Giants 24
Arizona 22
Indianapolis 22
Denver 21
Detroit 21
Oakland 21
LA Chargers 20
Miami 20
Atlanta 19
Jacksonville 19
Minnesota 19
Tampa Bay 19
Carolina 17
Chicago 17
Houston 15
New York Jets 14
Cleveland 13
Washington 12
New Orleans 10

Contract Construction

Player agents would be wise to leverage the possibility of their client awarding the team a comp pick during contract negotiations, considering the team will likely be the one to introduce the idea of a club option. Draft picks have a ton of value, this was clearly evidenced by the Browns who last year paid $16 Million for a 2nd Round Pick. The Ravens, who love to stick as many club options into their contracts as possible, included a club option in every year of Brandon Carr’s contract. The ability to decide at the end of each season whether a player is worth retaining, or whether you would prefer to let him hit the open market and potentially receive a draft pick in the process, is a very nice position to be in.

Here is the list of players who had club options built into their contracts for the upcoming 2018 season:

2018

Brandon Carr CB Baltimore Ravens – $7,000,000 (Exercised)

Adam “Pacman” Jones CB Cincinnati Bengals – $6,447,918 (Declined)

Austin Howard RT Baltimore Ravens – $5,000,000 (Declined)

Torrey Smith WR Philadelphia Eagles – $5,000,000 (Traded)

Alan Branch DT New England Patriots – $4,550,000 (Declined)

Elvis Dumervil OLB San Francisco 49ers – $4, 250,000 (Declined)

Cordarrelle Patterson WR Oakland Raiders – $3,250,000 (Traded)

Josh Robinson CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $1,875,000 (Exercised)

Here are some notable players who have a club option in their contract for the 2019 season (with 2019 Salary Cap Hit) :

2019

Jason Peters    LT       Philadelphia Eagles     $10,666,668

Pierre Garcon  WR      San Francisco 49ers    $8,400,000

Menelik Watson RT    Denver Broncos          $7,458,334

Brandon Carr  CB       Baltimore Ravens       $7,000,000

Jerick McKinnon RB  San Francisco 49ers    $6,000,000

Kyle Juszczyk FB       San Francisco 49ers    $5,950,000

Recent Signings

It should be no surprise that some of the biggest contracts signed so far in free agency (excluding Quarterbacks), are full of club options:

Andrew Norwell G Jacksonville Jaguars 5 yrs/$66.5 million – Club Option 2020, 2021, 2022

Malcolm Butler CB Tennessee Titans 5 yrs/$61.25 million – Club Option 2020, 2021, 2022

Weston Richburg C San Francisco 49ers 5 yrs/$47.5 million – Club Option 2021, 2022

Anthony Hitchens LB Kansas City Chiefs 5 yrs/$45 million – Club Option 2020, 2021, 2022

Nigel Bradham LB Philadelphia Eagles 5 yrs/$40 million – Club Option 2020, 2021, 2022

Jerick McKinnon RB San Francisco 49ers 4yrs/$30 million – Club Option 2019, 2020, 2021

Most of these new club options do NOT include an option bonus, thereby giving all the benefit to the team while the player must enter each offseason with questions about their future. It is quite a luxury when managing a roster headed into the offseason. Additionally, having a stash of compensatory picks during the draft leads to plenty of maneuvering and creativity. Cincinnati, Green Bay, Oakland and Arizona – 4 of the top 5 teams in terms of 2018 compensatory pick allotment – all made trades in the first round of the NFL Draft (Green Bay and Oakland made multiple). With more ammunition in their arsenal, and with the new ability to use compensatory picks in draft day trades, these teams were very active throughout the draft. Whether or not the picks work out is a different story, but what is for certain is because of comp pick capital these teams were aggressive in landing their targeted guys in the draft at the moments they felt necessary.

With some teams carrying up to twelve total draft picks (Green Bay had eight standard picks and four compensatory picks), they can package these in trades to maneuver around the draft board, and ideally get the seven-to-eight guys they want most. In the case of the Packers, they traded back in the first round from 14 to 27 and secured a 2019 first-round pick from the Saints in the process. Green Bay then traded back down with the Seahawks to 18 to take Jaire Alexander from Louisville, sending Seattle their 3rd and 6th round picks and recouping a 7th rounder. They then traded a 4th and 5th round pick to move up to the 88th overall pick in the 3rd round and land Oren Burks from Vanderbilt. With all this maneuvering they still drafted eleven players. They traded away their 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th round picks, but it hardly mattered considering they had two 4ths, a 5th and a 6th in compensatory picks. Whether or not the players pan out remains to be seen, but the Packers did not have to rely on taking the “Best Player Available,” they didn’t sit in their war room hoping a guy they liked would fall to them, they were able to go get the guys they wanted when they felt they needed to.

It is probably no coincidence that the top four teams on the all-time list of compensatory picks (Baltimore, Green Bay, Dallas, New England) happen to be four of the best teams in the NFL at producing home-grown talent. They simply have a higher likelihood of one or two of their draft picks working out when they bring eight-to-ten new draft picks into camp every year.

2018 AFC South Offseason Overview By Team

I will be posting a handy reference guide that brings together all of the relevant information here on Over The Cap for each division in the NFL as free agency begins next week. You’ll be able to see the cap room your favorite team has, an overview of some team needs, the draft picks they’re projected to have, and what those draft picks are projected to cost.

Continue reading 2018 AFC South Offseason Overview By Team »

2018 AFC North Offseason Overview By Team

I will be posting a handy reference guide that brings together all of the relevant information here on Over The Cap for each division in the NFL as free agency begins next week. You’ll be able to see the cap room your favorite team has, an overview of some team needs, the draft picks they’re projected to have, and what those draft picks are projected to cost.

Continue reading 2018 AFC North Offseason Overview By Team »

2018 AFC East Offseason Overview By Team

I will be posting a handy reference guide that brings together all of the relevant information here on Over The Cap for each division in the NFL as free agency begins next week. You’ll be able to see the cap room your favorite team has, an overview of some team needs, the draft picks they’re projected to have, and what those draft picks are projected to cost.

Continue reading 2018 AFC East Offseason Overview By Team »

Are the Jets Prepared to Pay Kirk Cousins $60M in 2018?

Brian Costello wrote an article yesterday that indicated that the Jets were hot for Kirk Cousins and might be willing to do whatever it takes to get him. The number of $150 million over 5 years was mentioned and I think that is feasible for a team to consider. However the number that did really surprise me was when a source indicated that $60 million in the first year might be what it takes to get a deal done. So I wanted to explore that number and how it could possibly work for the Jets or any other team. Continue reading Are the Jets Prepared to Pay Kirk Cousins $60M in 2018? »

Top 100 Free Agent List

Since I have been receiving so many questions about free agents I thought it might be fun to put together a top 100 unrestricted free agents list. I ranked the players in order of where I think their APY might land. I didn’t put in estimated values but the cutoff for the bottom of the list is around $3.5 million. I am sure there are a few names I simply missed here and there so feel free to ask about any players and Ill try to answer in the comments. Remember these are just one persons opinion to give a general overview of free agency. Clicking on the table headers should allow you to sort by team, position, age, etc…

Rank Name Position Team Age Snaps Notes
1 Kirk Cousins QB Redskins 30 1012 Biggest name QB to hit free agency since Peyton Manning in 2012. Could challenge for $30 million a year if market breaks right.
2 Drew Brees QB Saints 39 1034 Veteran QB still plays at a high level. Likely to stay in New Orleans with a deal signed right before start of free agency
3 Demarcus Lawrence DE Cowboys 26 704 14.5 sack season makes him a lock for the franchise tag. Would make a massive payday if he goes to market.
4 Case Keenum QB Vikings 30 1016 Right place, right time for Keenum last year. When a QB hits like that they generally get a good payday. Transition  tag could be in play, though likely too expensive.
5 Ziggy Ansah DE Lions 29 516 Ultra talented player but injuries are a concern. Hard to see a number 5 pick off a 12 sack year not getting close to $15M no matter what negatives exist.
6 LeVeon Bell RB Steelers 26 945 Most used running back in the league will likely get tagged again and earn close to $15 million in the process.
7 Jarvis Landry WR Dolphins 26 932 Market dynamics for receivers changed again this year and Landry should benefit. Only once in the last 5 years have the top receivers not gotten massive free agent paydays
8 Nate Solder LT Patriots 30 1116 Left tackles are like QBs when it comes to the payscale. None are available so those who are get paid near the top.
9 Andrew Norwell G Panthers 27 1079 Will see the new high water mark for guards. Hottest free agent position the last two years and Norwell upped his stock significantly this year.
10 Trumaine Johnson CB Rams 28 938 Versatile corner is probably the only player more teams than not think could be a top cover corner. Generally such players hit double digit APYs.
11 Justin Pugh G Giants 28 435 Positional need and versatility make Pugh a good bet to reach the $10 million mark despite nagging injuries.
12 Allen Robinson WR Jaguars 25 3 Best receiver available but coming off injury has me concerned about the kind of offers that will come in. Could be tagged, but I could see logic in taking 1 year deal with a contending team with a good QB.
13 Malcolm Butler CB Patriots 28 1040 Stock took a big hit this year but he should still do well in free agency since most corners do pretty well.
14 Sheldon Richardson DT Seahawks 28 655 Cant see teams risking a long term contract with Richardson, but he is too talented for a team to pass up on a one year contract. Last year this position saw multiple players take deals like this.
15 Sammy Watkins WR Rams 25 778 Wouldn’t surprise me for Watkins to earn $11 million a year from the Rams or be lucky to find $7 million elsewhere. Inconsistent but very young and has a high pedigree.
16 LaMarcus Joyer S Rams 28 688 Stood out in his walk year and is pretty versatile in coverage. Those players in recent years have scored big contracts in free agency.
17 Prince Amukamara CB Bears 29 848 Solid corner that has taken one year contracts since leaving the Giants. Probably time to take a 3 or 4 year deal for over $8 million a season.
18 Dontari Poe DT Falcons 28 742 Good player but injury issues and inability to pressure the QB will likely keep him out from making the kind of money the better interior d-line players make.
19 Sam Bradford QB Vikings 31 91 A pure gamble given that a strong gust of wind might break him. Not sure any free agent lost more money this year than Bradford.
20 Jimmy Graham TE Seahawks 32 730 Aging tight ends best days are behind him, but he is a solid red zone threat and has to be respected in passing game. Doubtful he matches his old contract but $8 million isnt a reach considering his name.
21 Kyle Fuller CB Bears 26 1015 Too many questionable years for teams to gamble on a big contract.  Would expect a moderate one year contract knowing big money awaits next year.
22 Eric Reid S 49ers 27 740 Versatile player that can do a lot on the field but has been a bit lost in the 49ers shuffle the last few years. Team could get a big bargain here if in the $8M range.
23 Star Lotulelei DT Panthers 29 590 Solid defensive tackle will get a lot of looks from teams looking for an affordable player that can play both run and pass.
24 AJ McCarron QB Bengals 28 26 Somehow I have a feeling his stock increased by never playing and the Browns almost making a ridiculous trade for him. Still hard to see him breaking the bank in a crowded field of options this year.
25 Kenny Vaccaro S Saints 27 618 Salary may be based more on where he was drafted and potential than anything done on the field. Still upside gets players paid in free agency.
26 Morgan Burnett S Packers 29 728 Should gain interest as a second safety similar to the crop of players who all got contracts in the $7 million range last season
27 Tre Boston S Chargers 26 1041 Plays pretty much every down and doesn’t make many blatant mistakes. Doesn’t have the kind of upside other might.
28 Brent Grimes CB Buccaneers 35 781 Part of me wants to say his age should put him down in the $3 million range, but hes been good enough to probably hold out and wait for something close to the $6.5M he earned last season.
29 Jay Cutler QB Dolphins 35 764 If Cutler had a better attitude hed be locked in somewhere at close to $20 million a year. Since he doesn’t I guess the question is will he play for $7 million in 2018?
30 Bennie Logan DT Chiefs 29 574 One year gamble didn’t hurt or help him. Probably lands on a 43 team looking for a situational player.
31 Isaiah Crowell RB Browns 25 536 Consistent year to year and some teams may see more upside since he put up all his numbers on the worst team in the NFL. Can he break the $6m barrier?
32 Teddy Bridgewater QB Vikings 26 9 Another enigma because of injury, but a 1st round guy who certainly didn’t bust should be worth between $6 and $7 million for a year or two. Could be a steal if healthy.
33 Josh McCown QB Jets 39 819 McCown had best year of his career before his annual injury cut it short. Still its hard to see his stock improving any from last year given age.
34 Trey Burton TE Eagles 27 300 High upside tight end should get more action than Graham though not as much money. Should top $6M and $7m is a possibility given the way teams pay for tight ends.
35 Paul Richardson WR Seahawks 26 816 Should have established himself in the lower second tier of receivers. Intriguing because of down field ability and chance to thrive in a different style offense.
36 TJ Carrie CB Raiders 28 1024 Should get the top slot money this year unless teams see him playing the outside. If he sticks with Raiders his money could go up based on how they paid others.
37 Marqise Lee WR Jaguars 27 738 Decent second target on a team with a top level 1 to draw defenses. Likely doesn’t have the big play upside to see stock rise despite lack of top options this year.
38 EJ Gaines CB Bills 26 654 Had a good year in Buffalo and should have no problems earning similar to the $6-$6.5M contracts the decent slot guys have received in recent years.
39 Bashaud Breeland CB Redskins 26 856 Has the physical tools to score a big contract and it would not stun me is someone reached big for him, but more likely he’ll earn a mid/lower level 2nd corner contract.
40 Aaron Colvin CB Jaguars 27 705 Everything about Gaines pretty much applies here.
41 NaVorro Bowman LB Raiders 30 999 Often injured and doesn’t play a position that typically gets paid big, but he plays big enough when healthy to top the $6 million a year mark.
42 Nigel Bradham LB Eagles 29 923 Had a great year for the Eagles and was in almost every play, but position rarely gets paid big in free agency. Maybe he will be the exception.
43 Adrian Clayborn DE Falcons 30 533 Most of his top line production all came in one game so his overall numbers will be discounted because of that. Still a solid veteran that can rush the passer should get a decent raise over his current $4.25M per year deal.
44 Morris Claiborne CB Jets 28 921 Had a solid year with the Jets but had to be near top of the NFL in defensive holding calls.  Affordable second corner but teams wont look for upside.
45 Carlos Hyde RB 49ers 27 786 Shown that he can play in all phases of the game over last two seasons and three down players will break $5 million.
46 Weston Richburg C Giants 27 239 The best available center, though season ending on IR with a concussion could scare some teams off.
47 Ryan Jensen C Ravens 27 1086 Had a good season in his walk year and overall effort week in and out will make him a solid 2nd tier center.
48 Byron Maxwell CB Seahawks 30 584 Play looked worse because of his contract but veteran players like Maxwell can usually find in the mid $5 million range.
49 Denico Autry DT Raiders 28 592 Productive pass rusher. If teams think he can start and be more consistent could be worth more.
50 Austin Seferian Jenkins TE Jets 26 655 Expect ASJ to get paid based on narrow salary band at position and his draft status.
51 Kyle Williams DT Bills 34 758 Veteran DT should be able to score a nice two year contract in Buffalo or elsewhere.
52 Mike Wallace WR Ravens 32 714 Wallace is still productive as a secondary target and is a known quantity. He should be able to be in the $5 million range again on a short term deal.
53 Josh Kline G Titans 29 1023 Not a difference maker, but a solid professional that can solidify the guard position.
54 Kony Ealy Edge Jets 27 452 Enigma player. Has ability to be one of best bargains in the NFL if he develops or wasted cap space if he doesn’t.
55 Paul Posluszny LB Jaguars 34 481 Aging linebacker should earn close to what he did last season, likely with the Jaguars.
56 Chris Hubbard RT Steelers 27 781 Made the most of opportunity last season and should have a chance to earn a low end starting contract for a right tackle.
57 Dion Lewis RB Patriots 28 404 Solid run at the end of the season to improve his stock. If teams think he can catch he should find a nice market.
58 Patrick Robinson CB Eagles 31 710 Really good season for the Eagles, but at 31 and an up and down career the ceiling is pretty limited.
59 Trent Murphy Edge Redskins 28 0 Spent the year on IR and was also suspended. Lost a chance to cash in because of that but should get 3rd tier rusher money with incentives to increase.
60 John Brown WR Cardinals 28 898 Ultimate boom or bust type. Numbers down the last two seasons but could find that 1,000 yard form with new setting. Could see him earning more if teams get hot for him.
61 Ross Cockrell CB Giants 27 681 Should add solid depth to a secondary. Has started the last two years more often than not, but ultimate role will probably be as an extra DB.
62 DaQuan Jones DE Titans 27 437 Fills the role of professional lineman on a team with talent.  Paired with right personnel could surprise.
63 Jordan Matthews WR Bills 26 509 2017 was a lost year. If teams discount the season expect him to earn in the $6-7M range, but if they don’t hell stick here in the $4.5M range.
64 Avery Williamson LB Titans 26 654 Jack of all trades linebacker, but unless you standout its hard to breakout in free agency as a linebacker.
65 Jack Mewhort G Colts 27 313 Solid player that could hit the $6 million range, but injuries have derailed him and he didn’t stand out enough when not injured. Could be a 1 year deal.
66 Tahir Whitehead LB Lions 28 950 On the field nearly every down and a pretty sure tackler. Id imagine a new contract very similar to last extension at $4 million.
67 Alex Okafor Edge Saints 27 486 Was on track to potentially have a career year but a late Achilles ended his chances. If teams think he is healthy he should double his salary from last year.
68 Taylor Gabriel WR Falcons 27 508 Bit of a niche player that didn’t stand out enough this year to move into the 2nd WR tier, but should be in the 3rd tier of players.
69 Marcus Gilchrist S Texans 30 817 Did enough this past season to remove stigma of Jets years and move back into solid veteran money.
70 Zach Brown LB Redskins 29 834 Not a lot of interest last year at a big money number and cant see anything this year that will change that.
71 Jerick McKinnon RB Vikings 26 528 Good receiever and receiving skills are always sought after and paid for in free agency.
72 Anthony Hitchens LB Cowboys 26 547 Flashes at times and that could push his price up a little but should settle in the $4 to $5 million range.
73 Zach Fulton G/C Chiefs 27 794 Utility interior lineman that should be an affordable part of a good line.
74 Justin Ellis DT Raiders 28 462 This the price range for most interior players who can log 40% playtime.
75 Demario Davis LB Jets 29 1118 Good season in his return to the Jets, but its hard to picture any more interest than when he was a free agent a few years back.
76 Antonio Gates TE Chargers 38 500 Nearing the end of his career but can still fill a role for a team if he doesn’t call it quits.
77 Julius Peppers Edge Panthers 38 500 Can still dominate in the pass rush and is worth more, but he signed in this range last year and given his age expect it to be the same.
78 Todd Davis LB Broncos 26 522 Good run defender in the Broncos defense. Probably doesn’t do enough other things to have big value elsewhere.
79 Albert Wilson WR Chiefs 26 538 Had a big standout game at the end of the season, but overall has been too inconsistent to earn more than 3/4 money.
80 Tyler Eifert TE Bengals 28 104 $8 million talent in an $8 body. Hasn’t been able to hold up to NFL grind and its only his talent level that will have a team take a risk for more than the minimum.
81 Rashaan Melvin CB Colts 29 552 Had best season of his career, but only 10 games and has already bounced around the NFL.
82 Spencer Long C Redskins 28 394 Injury kept him from enhancing status but he should be able to break out from the $3M and under players.
83 Nickell Robey-Coleman CB Rams 26 658 Decent 3rd or 4th corner whose salary is probably a bit compromised based on prior contracts.
84 Connor Barwin Edge Rams 32 659 Since this is not a big year for free agent rushers expect Barwin to sign a similar one year contract for a team needing a steady presence.
85 Kareem Martin Edge Cardinals 26 458 Intriguing prospect is only 26 and could find a team to gamble in the $3M tier for a season.
86 Beau Allen DT Eagles 27 422 Didn’t have the kind of year he needed to make a free agent splash, but he still plays a role that is valuable around the league.
87 William Hayes Edge Dolphins 33 274 Struggled in Miami but probably has enough name value to get a one year deal in the $3 million tier but with a low guarantee.
88 Barkevious Mingo Edge Colts 28 501 Mingo is pretty much settled into this group now as a part time jack of all trades but with a very limited upside.
89 Dontrelle Inman WR Bears 29 457 I could see him moving up a tier but nothing stands out enough for me to really justify it.
90 Terrelle Pryor WR Redskins 29 378 Awful season and his expectations are going to be terribly low this year as he takes another one year contract to try to salvage his career.
91 Ryan Fitzpatrick QB Buccaneers 36 299 Probably the top rated backup available.
92 Bradley McDougald S Seahawks 28 681 Think he is worth more than this but something turned teams off last season and has that really changed?
93 Tramon Williams CB Cardinals 35 670 Veteran had a good season last year which should set him up for a 3rd corner kind of contract.
94 Haloti Ngata DT Lions 34 145 No idea if Ngata wants to keep playing for a low price but expect a $3 millionish base value with incentives based on playtim.
95 Jaron Brown WR Cardinals 28 415 May draw more interest than this based on skillset but hard to picture a team really going in too deep.
96 Kendall Wright WR Bears 29 580 Should find a home as a third target on a team with a bad or young group of receivers.
97 Erik Walden Edge Titans 33 581 Veteran that can still rush the passer a bit should find a home on a pass rush needed team.
98 Terrence Newman CB Vikings 40 560 Ageless player seemingly signs almost the same contract every season.
99 Brandon Fusco G 49ers 30 1088 End of stay with the Vikings probably damaged him too much but should be a cheaper option to plug in on a good line and he wont hurt you.
100 Ryan Grant WR Redskins 28 616 Does just enough to have a role for a team but not enough for a team to overreach on him.