Ravens nab four compensatory picks

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Baltimore Ravens gained some ammunition toward a deep NFL draft as they were awarded four compensatory selections Monday at the league owners' meetings, and now have a total of nine picks. For losing All-Pro linebacker Adalius Thomas to the New England Patriots, Baltimore obtained a rare third-round pick as compensation for his departure.

The Ravens also netted a fourth-round pick for offensive tackle Tony Pashos signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as well a sixth-round choice and a seventh-rounder in exchange for fullback Ovie Mughelli and defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin signing with the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively.

"That's the fairness of the system," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said during an interview between competition committee meetings at The Breakers hotel. "AD was a sixth-round pick, and we're getting a three in return. Pashos was a fifth, and we get a fourth.

"The player gets compensated when they move to another team, and we're able to utilize the system to go out and draft other players."

The Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, who also received four, were given more compensatory picks than any other teams in the league. The picks are divided under a formula determined by the NFL management council that's based on salary, playing time, postseason honors and the net of free agents lost versus free agents signed.

The Ravens lost four compensatory free agents last year, and didn't sign any. The picks are at the end of the rounds.

Now, the Ravens have replaced the third-round pick they had traded last year to the Buffalo Bills for Pro Bowl running back Willis McGahee as well as the fifth-round selection they expended in the supplemental draft last summer to obtain massive University of Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither.

The Ravens' compensatory third-round pick is 99th overall, also picking up the 133rd overall seleciton in the fourth round, 206th overall in the sixth round and 240th overall in the seventh round.

Only the Ravens, Washington Redskins, Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons got extra choices in the third round.

"Now that we've got nine picks, what it does is it eliminates the pressure on us when we made the trade for Willis and also getting Gaither with that supplemental picks," Newsome said. "All of those picks have been replaced, which is nice."

NOTE: The Ravens are expected to vote against reseeding the NFL playoff system Wednesday, a stance mirrored by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Bengals.

The proposal is intended to make sure that the teams with the best record would gain home-field advantage.

However, the AFC North has the toughest strength of schedule in the league and that could trigger potential scenarios where a division champion would have to play on the road against a wild-card team with a superior record.

Only the Cleveland Browns are expected to vote for reseeding, a stance sparked by how they were excluded from the postseason last year despite a 10-6 record due to a tiebreaker when the Indianapolis Colts held out starters against the Tennessee Titans.

"Steve Bisciotti and I have had a lot of discussions about this one," Newsome said. "It will be a major discussion on the floor."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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