The Packers received fourth-round selections for losing guard Daryn Colledge to Arizon and defensive end Cullen Jenkins to Philadelphia. In addition, they received seventh-round selections for losing running back Brandon Jackson to Cleveland and Jason Spitz. They were the highest-paid among a group of low-level free-agent departures that included Korey Hall, Atari Bigby and Anthony Smith.
"I think it's opportunity," Packers general manager Ted Thompson told reporters in Palm Beach. "It's incumbent upon us to do a good job with them and having the extra picks, it's another opportunity, and you guys will be the judge if we do it well or do it badly."
Compensatory draft picks, which are granted at the end of each round, can't be traded, But having three fourth-round picks at his disposal gives Thompson the flexibility to move up or down the board. For instance, Thompson might feel more inclined to move up by trading his third-round pick because he'd have three selections in the fourth.
The Packers will have 12 picks in April's draft: One in the first, second and third rounds, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and sixth rounds and four in the seventh round. The seventh-rounders are their own pick, two compensatory selections and what the Packers received from the Jets in last year's trade for then-rookie guard Caleb Schladeraff.
While the formula is considered top-secret stuff, compensatory selections are determined mostly by the average yearly salary given by a player's new team.
Since the compensatory-pick system began with the 1994 draft, the Packers have been awarded 30 bonus picks (but made 32 for compensatory picks acquired before the NFL banned the trading of those picks).
The highest round a pick can be awarded is the third round. The Packers have earned third-round picks twice: running back LeShon Johnson in 1994 and cornerback Tyrone Williams in 1996.
Fourth-round compensatory picks were quarterback Aaron Brooks in 1999, punter Josh Bidwell in 1999, safety Gary Barry in 2000, running back Najeh Davenport in 2002, guard Josh Sitton in 2008 and cornerback Davon House in 2011.
Other noteworthy compensatory picks include guard Marco Rivera (sixth round, 1996), quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (sixth round, 1998), center Scott Wells (seventh round, 2004) and offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (fifth round, 2010).
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.