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NFL Draft 2013: What compensatory picks should Raiders receive?

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The questions have started about what compensatory picks the Raiders should expect to receive in this year's draft. So, I put my nose to the grindstone, did the research, and crunched the numbers to get my predictions together.

Reggie McKenzie poses for photos at the press conference to introduce draft pick Tony Bergstrom
Reggie McKenzie poses for photos at the press conference to introduce draft pick Tony Bergstrom
Levi Damien

The NFL has a super-secret formula they use when deciding what compensatory picks each team will receive in the draft. The formula is a combination of salary, playing time, and postseason awards of the players the team loses compared to those of the free agents the team signs. The only real way to get a good idea of what the Raiders can expect as compensation, we must go back and look at previous draft picks handed out and why.

I did this last season as well and correctly predicted the Raiders round 3, 4, and 5 compensatory pick haul exactly (See: Ironing out the Raiders 2012 compensatory picks). Those compensatory picks were extremely important considering they made up the greater portion of the Raiders' draft including the top two picks they had. So, let's figure this year's comp picks out, shall we?

For starters we must look at what the Raiders lost in free agency compared to who they signed. Keep in mind, free agents who were cut by the Raiders or their former team do not count. Only those who saw their contract expire or voided. This means players such as Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer don't count because they were both released by their former teams.

The Raiders saw a total of five players signed away to other teams in free agency: Jason Campbell, Michael Bush, Samson Satele, Trevor Scott, and Chaz Schilens. In return the team signed five free agents: Mike Brisiel, Philip Wheeler, Dave Tollefson, Pat Lee, and Matt Leinart.

Research tells us players with minimum contracts don't count toward the compensatory pick total. None of the players the Raiders lost signed minimum deals with their new teams. Of the players the Raiders added, Philip Wheeler and Matt Leinart were signed to veteran minimum deals (700k for 4-6 year vets) so they will not factor in the total.

Removing Wheeler and Leinart from the equation, the Raiders now have three additions and five subtractions who qualify toward the compensatory pick total. This is where simple math holds true. Five players outgoing and three incoming means two compensatory picks.

In a more general note, there are two exceptions to this simple math rule:

1. If the team loses the same amount of players as they receive and the outgoing players worth greatly outweighs the incoming players the league awards the team with a round seven pick. (This happened with the Raiders in 2011).

2. There will always be a total of 32 compensatory picks (one for each team). If, after doling out the picks for lost free agents, there are still not 32 picks handed out, the remaining picks will be given out at the end of round seven beginning with the top of the draft order.

The second rule suggests there is a chance the Raiders could receive an extra round 7 pick. Once the picks are handed out, if there are 28 or less, the Raiders would receive an additional pick at the tail end of the draft. However, from what I can tell, there will be 30 picks doled out which would mean only the Chiefs and Jaguars would receive that extra compensatory pick.

As I mentioned before, the league does have several criteria they weigh in their formula. The most heavily weighed is playing time and salary. Postseason awards such as making a Pro Bowl or All Pro are also considered but to a much lesser degree. None of the players the Raiders let go made the Pro Bowl so it won't matter with regard to the compensation the Raiders receive anyway.

Here are those players listed with the most pertinent information:


Mike Brisiel -- 5yr, $20 mil, $4 mil per. 15 gms, 15 starts

Dave Tollefson -- 2 yr $2.5 mil, $1.25 mil per. 14 gms, 0 starts

Philip Wheeler -- 1yr, $700k, 16 starts

Matt Leinart -- 1 yr, $700k. 2 gms, 0 starts

Pat Lee -- 1 yr, $680k. 8 gms, 7 starts


Michael Bush -- 4yr, $14 mil, $3.5 mil per. 13 gms, 1 start

Samson Satele -- 3yr, $10.8 mil, $3.6 mil per. 11 starts

Jason Campbell -- 1yr, $3.5 mil. 6 gms, 1 start

Trevor Scott -- 1yr, $1.5 mil. 14 gms, 1 start

Chaz Schilens -- 1yr, $765k, 15 gms, 6 starts

From here we need to figure out which additions and subtractions cancel each other out. For that, we look to those players whose numbers are most similar. At the top, we have Brisiel and Bush canceling each other out. Then on the opposite end of the scale, Lee and Schilens' low one-year deals cancel each other out. Then we have Tollefson and Scott canceling each other out.

What we are left with is compensatory picks for the Raiders for the losses of Jason Campbell and Samson Satele.

To figure out what kind of pick the Raiders will get for these two players I must compare them to the compensation received for players with similar numbers in the past couple years. Both players had about the same salary last season so we will start with the longer of the two contracts.

The Colts snagged Satele to be their starting center last off-season and signed him to a 3-year, $10.8 million deal. He was the Colts' fulltime starter last season. He missed five games last season with injuries but started every game in which he appeared (11). Here are the most recent players with similar contracts and playing time to Satele:

2011 Brad Smith 4 yrs, $15 mil = $3.75 mil per. 15 games, 5 starts

2011 Steve Weatherford 4 yr, $12.75 = $3.2 mil per. 16 games

2011 Charlie Johnson 3 yr $10.5 = $3.5 mil per. 16 starts

These three players all garnered their former teams a round six pick in the following draft. Pretty solid proof the Raiders can expect to receive a sixth round compensatory pick for the loss of Satele.

Next up is Jason Campbell. If you go by his salary over last season alone, he garners a round six pick just as Satele did. But that would be too easy. And no one has ever accused me of being too easy. Well, maybe a couple times.

There was only one contract in 2011 that was equal to Campbell's last season. That was Richard Marshall who had the same 1-year, $3.5 million deal. It was the shortest of the three contracts given to a player the Panthers lost but it was the most per season total. The Panthers received a sixth round compensatory pick in the following draft in return.

Conclusion: Based on this evidence, the Raiders should receive two round 6 compensatory picks in the 2013 draft.

This would give the Raiders eight total picks in the draft - Round 1, 3, 4, 6(3), 7(2). The round 2 pick belongs to the Bengals as part of the Carson Palmer trade, the round 5 pick belongs to the Seahawks as part of the Aaron Curry trade, and the extra round 7 pick comes from the Panthers from the Louis Murphy trade.

I hope you feel well-informed now. I know I do.