Payback: Packers get 4th round pick for Verba

The Green Bay Packers will receive a 4th round compensatory pick in the 2002 NFL Draft for losing Ross Verba to the Cleveland Browns during last year's free agency signing period, the league announced today.

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2002 NFL Draft have been awarded to 18 teams, the NFL announced.

The pick the Packers received for Verba is just one round short of the best spot they could have received. This year, the compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

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 Packers lost Verba, a 1997 first-round draft pick, to the Browns during the 2001 free agent signing period. The offensive lineman spent four seasons in Green Bay. He became the first rookie ever to start at left tackle in the Super Bowl when he started for the Pack in Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego. Verba earned all-rookie honors from a variety of sources including Pro Football Weekly and Football News.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 229 choices in the regular seven rounds of the 2002 NFL Draft.

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.

One club this year (Washington) will receive a compensatory pick even though it did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents. Under the formula, the compensatory free agents Washington lost were ranked higher than the ones they signed by a specified point differential.

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