In fact, some fans seem to be expecting the team to receive multiple, high Compensatory picks when the announcement is made. Recently, this hope has been fueled by some in the Baltimore media, who are reporting that the Ravens should expect “at least one” Compensatory pick.
Those hopes and expectations are based on last year’s loss of premium free agents like Bart Scott and Jason Brown. However, under the Compensatory Draft pick rules, when a team signs as many qualifying UFAs as it loses – as the Ravens did – the best the team can receive is one 7th round Compensatory pick. The Ravens will be awarded that one 7th round pick, if the team’s losses are deemed to be sufficiently greater than what they signed.
This type of Comp Pick is referred to as a “net value” Comp Pick.
The 4 qualifying UFAs lost by the Ravens were Bart Scott, Jason Brown, Jim Leonhard and Kyle Boller. The 4 qualifying UFAs signed by the Ravens were Domonique Foxworth, Matt Birk, Chris Carr and LJ Smith. The Ravens also lost Marques Douglas, but since he was released by the team, he does not count as a loss for Comp Pick purposes (since they willingly gave him up).
Certainly the Ravens lost more in value than what they signed, but it remains to seen whether or not those losses are great enough (this actual measurement has never been disclosed) under the Comp Pick rules to warrant the granting of a “net value” 7th round pick.
For the purposes of determining the “sufficiency” of the losses over the gains, the formula looks at the average yearly value of the contracts signed by the UFAs. Using those figures, the total of the yearly averages for the players lost by the Ravens is $19M (Scott, $8M; Brown, $7.5M; Leonhard, $2M; Boller, $1.5M) versus $15M for those signed (Foxworth, $7M; Birk, $4M; Carr, $2.5M; LJ Smith, $1.5M). So, in the end, it’s really not that great of a difference and probably not enough to get them a 7th round “net value” Comp Pick..
To further this point, from 2005 to 2009, only 6 teams that signed as many UFAs as they lost (Ariz, 2009; St. Louis, 2008; Cincinnati, 2007: and Washington, Seattle and Buffalo, 2006) received “net value” Comp picks – and each team received only the one 7th round pick. Based on this it appears that the criteria for a “net value” pick is quite stringent.
One other variable could also come into play – there are only 32 Comp Picks awarded and a “net value” Comp Pick will only be awarded if the 32 Comp pick slots have not already been filled. In most years, there still is enough room for the league to award “net value” picks.
This year, however, at least as far as the Ravens are concerned, it may not matter either way.