Every year, NFL teams are awarded up to four compensatory picks based on net free agent losses from the year before.
This year, the Eagles are one of those teams, gaining two seventh-round selections, picks 236 and 239 overall. Compensatory picks are always at the end of the actual round they fall in, with no more than 32 picks given out overall. Picks cannot be traded.
The comp pick assignments are based on an undisclosed formula that measures a team’s unrestricted free agent losses against the signing of other team’s unrestricted free agents. A net loss generally means a comp pick is awarded, with the round level being determined roughly by the amount of money the lost free agent signs for, actual playing time, and postseason awards.
For more info on the compensatory pick process, check out the excellent site adamjt13.blogspot.com.
Last year, the Eagles lost defensive end Jason Babin and safety Sean Jones as unrestricted free agents. They predictably splurged on guys like receiver Hank Baskett, who again returned to the team only to be cut two games into the season, and Marlin Jackson, the injury-prone veteran safety who not surprisingly got hurt and didn’t play a snap after going on injured reserve in training camp.
The team also signed restricted free agent Mike Bell, who was later traded to the Browns for Jerome Harrison.
Like the players themselves during the season, those transactions had no impact on the net loss formula as the Eagles still got two picks. Both Baskett and Jackson did not impact the formula as they were non-tendered/cut by the Colts. Players signed after the designated free agency period in the offseason, like fullback Owen Schmitt, also do not affect the formula.
The two seventh-rounders bring the Eagles’ 2011 draft pick haul to 10, a number they seem to start with every year, though they always wheel and deal come draft day. On top of the additional comp picks, they have the extra fourth-rounder from the Redskins for the McNabb trade (#104 overall) and an extra fifth (#149) from San Diego they got back in a draft day deal last year.
They no longer have a sixth-rounder as it was traded to Arizona for guard Reggie Wells. The Eagles originally had an extra sixth-rounder from Tampa due to the Reggie Brown trade, but that pick itself was traded last year for what eventually became Jamar Chaney. Thanks Reggie, your best contribution to the team by far.
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