Packers get four extra picks

The Packers were awarded the maximum of four compensatory selections from the National Football League Monday for free agents that they lost last year. Green Bay gets an extra pick near the end of the sixth round and three at the end of the seventh.<p>

Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.

The Packers lost wide receivers Corey Bradford and Bill Schroeder, safety Billy Jenkins, cornerback/return specialist Allen Rossum, offensive lineman Barry Stokes. Green Bay signed free agent Joe Johnson to a six-year contract last March. They also signed free agent middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson and return specialist/cornerback Darrien Gordon, but Gordon was released during the season and Nickerson probably will not return to Green Bay.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.

The 32 compensatory choices announced by the league will supplement the 230 choices in the regular seven rounds of the 2003 NFL Draft (April 26-27). The compensatory picks will be positioned within the fourth through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

Baltimore, Miami, New York Giants, and St. Louis also received compensatory selections. The Chicago Bears received three picks and nine other teams got one apiece.

The Packers have been awarded 21 compensatory picks since 1993, second to the Dallas Cowboys, who have received 23.

The Packers currently have 11 selections in this year's draft, but seven are in the sixth and seventh rounds. Green Bay's first round pick is the 29th overall. The Packers traded their second round pick to Philadelphia in early March in a trade for cornerback Al Harris. Green Bay received a fourth round pick from Philadelphia in the Harris trade, and they have one pick in the fifth round.

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