The NFL announced it’s 2015 Compensatory Pick assignments today, and there were none for the Cowboys. How could this be?
As we’ve stated all offseason, as fans pay closer attention to this sidebar of free agency, compensatory picks are not assigned until after the season when free agents are signed/lost. The formula for determining how many and for what round comp picks are assigned include playing time and post-season awards. This obviously can’t be factored in prior to the free agents even playing a single game with their new teams.
Last season, Dallas lost one big-ticket free agent in Jason Hatcher. Hatcher signing with the Washington franchise would’ve netted Dallas compensation If they hadn’t signed qualifying free agents Henry Melton, Terrell McClain and Jeremy Mincey. So since they were in the negative when it came to qualifying players, Dallas stays with their allotment of seven picks in the NFL draft. They now sit as follows in the finalized 2015 draft order.
Denver, Kansas City and Seattle all have four compensatory picks coming their way. Dallas now sits in third place overall in total compensatory players drafted since 1994, with a steady 33.
This season, is a different story. There has been a flurry of activity associated with the Cowboys. Most notably, the club lost Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray to Philadelphia and brought in sack artist Greg Hardy. There have been a series of other players lost and signed, and many of them will impact Dallas’ 2016 compensatory picks. Here’s the running ledger.
|Player Lost||Contract||APY||Round||Player Signed||Contract||APY||Round|
|Demarco Murray||5 yr/ $42 million||$8.4m||4th||x||Greg Hardy||1/$11m*||$11m||3rd|
|Jermey Parnell||5 yr/ $32 million||$7m||4th|
|Bruce Carter||4 yr/ $17 million||$4.25m||6th|
|Justin Durant||3 yr/ $10.8 million||$3.6m||6th||x||Jasper Brinkley||2 yrs/ $6.5m||$3.25m||6th|
|Dwayne Harris||5 yr/ $17.5 million||$3.5m||6th||x||Andrew Gachkar||2 yrs/$5.2m||$2.6m||6th|
|Henry Melton||1 yr/$3.75 million||$3.75m||6th||x||Darren McFadden||2 yr/$3m||$1.5m||7th|
|George Selvie||1 yr/ $1.4 million||$1.4m||7th||x||Jed Collins||1 yr/$745k||$745k||7th|
For now, Dallas will receive compensatory picks for losing Jermey Parnell (4th) and Bruce Carter (6th).
Dallas’ best chance of receiving additional compensatory picks (Max is 4 in any season) is if they lose Rolando McClain or Anthony Spencer.
Players signed or lost that did not affect the formula were Sterling Moore (non-tendered RFA), Corey White, Keith Rivers and Ray Agnew (all released by prior teams).
Of course, playing time and post-season awards could affect the slotting here. The current rounds are based on a projected $153 million 2016 salary cap. A different cap number, or changes in projected playing time could alter how each player Is viewed by the formula. The most likely place for this to occur is with Demarco Murray. His compensatory slotting could be bumped to a third round level if all the cards fell correctly for Dallas. In addition, if Greg Hardy does turn out to be a one-year rental for Dallas, his new deal will likely slot him as a third round loss for 2017.
Here’s a look at the projected tier cutoffs we’re using, based on a 153 million cap in 2016.
|2015 Projected Cutoff||% based on $140m cap||2015 projection on actual cap||2016 Projected on $153m cap|