I’m jumping the gun a day early in adding in a few players for tracking the 2016 compensatory draft picks, but since the teams themselves have jumped the gun themselves in free agency (and caused the NFL to issue a strongly worded letter telling them how very, very angry it was), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get a dress rehearsal going for a good test.
Please note that the listed APYs are tentative, as they are based on the early media reports that we’ve all heard. They will be refined over the days as OTC gets more accurate information. But for the purposes of the compensatory picks it will likely take a large deviation from the initial reports to change the round that the players will qualify for.
While there have only been ten reported upcoming transactions where APY estimates have been provided, most of them are big ones, as is common at the start of free agency. What is less common is the size and amount of those big ones even at this point. Last year, only four players (Aqib Talib, Branden Albert, Jairus Byrd, and Michael Johnson) qualified for what the program projects to be 3rd round values. As of now, this year already has projected five at that level (Ndamukong Suh, Jeremy Maclin, Byron Maxwell, Julius Thomas, and Rodney Hudson).
Observing the 2016 compensatory picks tab on OTC’s draft page, you’ll see that thanks to Suh’s monster deal Detroit has the 97th overall pick on lockdown, provided they lose more UFAs than they gain and sign no UFA above about $8.4 million APY. Denver has also got off to a roaring start, being tabbed for 3rd and 4th rounders as they’re poised to lose Julius Thomas and Orlando Franklin. Baltimore and Seattle are also unsurprisingly listed.
Finally, taking a look at the cancellation chart already shows a few cancellations at play, and high ones at that. Kansas City, Miami, and Philadelphia have already negated a major UFA loss with a major UFA gain. It should be stressed that there is nothing inherently wrong with that, as players like Suh, Maclin, and Maxwell can understandably be valued by their teams higher than a late third round pick more than a year away could fetch. It’s also clear that Jacksonville has much higher priority goals in free agency than compensatory picks.
More entries will come in as the news of more signings pours in over the next few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the official start of free agency!