In addition to the 32 picks in each round, there are a total of 32 picks awarded at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7. These picks, known as "compensatory picks," are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player's salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.
If fewer than 32 such picks are awarded, the remaining picks are awarded in the order in which teams would pick in a hypothetical eighth round of the draft (These are known as "supplemental compensatory selections").
Compensatory picks are awarded each year at the NFL annual meeting which is held at the end of March; typically, about three or four weeks before the draft.
This year the 3rd and 4th Round Compensatory picks worked out like this:
3rd Round: Cincinnati - Brandon Ghee - CB - Wake Forrest, Tennessee - Rennie Curran - OLB - Georgia, Atlanta - Mike Johnson - OG - Alabama
4th Round - Cincinnati -Roderick Muckelroy - OLB - Texas
In the 2009 Off-Season, the Bengals lost 7 Free Agents: T.J. Houshmandzhadeh (Seahawks), Stacey Andrews (Eagles), Marcus Brown (Rams), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills), Glen Holt (Vikings), Ethan Kilmer(Dolphins), Corey Mays(Chiefs)
They signed 5 Free Agents: Cedric Benson, Darryl Blackstock, Daniel Coats, Chris Crocker, DeDe Dorsey, Rashad Jeanty and Brandon Johnson
For this difference, they were awarded two compensatory picks. One in the 3rd and one in the 4th. That is pretty solid.
So far the Oakland Raiders have lost starters Cornell Green and Gerard Warren and have signed Chris Cooper and Kyle Boller..
JP Losman and John Wade are still out there as UFAs, Gary Russell is an RFA and Greg Ellis, Javon Walker and Justin Fargas may not count if they are signed because they have been released.
Basically, it is possible that Gerard Warren and Cornell Green can fetch the Oakland Raiders anywhere from an extra 3rd-7th Round Draft choice as long as we don't sign any BIG free agents and someone signs two more of our Free Agents. That would not disuade me from signing a Big Time Player, If I were the Oakland brass, BUT, without a first round selection next season an extra pick at the end of the third round would be fantastic!!! So here is to Gerard playing well in New England and to New England making the playoffs, Cornell Green starting every game for Buffalo and someone signing Losman and Wade.
Looking back at these signings after the draft, were Chris Cooper and Kyle Boller worth two 3rd-7th Round picks? Boller, probably, Cooper, not so much.
I am no expert on this situation, so whatever you know about how the CBA will effect Comp picks next year or the salaries of all of the players involved in this equation and how the status of released players effect it all comes into play.