Without adding free agents, LA should once again get four compensatory picks
The Los Angeles Rams have done a good job with Sean McVay and Les Snead receiving compensatory picks each year and that was the case again in 2023. The Rams got the maximum allowed of four (the 49ers got seven, but three of them are for the the NFL’s minority hiring policy and do not count against the maximum) and has given general manager Les Snead three additional fifth-round picks (167, 171, 177) and one in the seventh round (251).
Those picks may not land on the Rams’ top-tier “prospects,” but they sometimes lead to good players, and sometimes even more comp picks.
Take, for example, 2019 seventh-round pick Nick Scott.
The Bengals signed Scott to a three-year, $12 million deal on Friday, and that may end up leading to a seventh-round pick. He’s not the first free agent from the 2023 Rams to sign so he could lead to a courtesy pick and he may not be the last. Under the current OvertheCap.com formula, LA is on track to receive compensatory picks for Matt Gay (6th round) and Baker Mayfield (6th round).
What are these spikes and how are they distributed? A brief explanation of OTC:
For each draft, the NFL awards at least 32 additional picks to certain players, coaches, and executives who depart from their previous teams. Appendix V of the CBA and Resolution JC-2A of 2020 govern the rules of the compensatory draft system. Visit the OTC Compensating Formulas page and read this explainer to better understand how compensating selections are assigned.
Here’s a simple breakdown by me:
player contract expires with equipment (throws do not count). The player signs with another NFL team. The NFL takes all contracts and sorts them by Average Annual Salary. They look at the top 32 or more of those contracts and put them in order, HOWEVER, if the team that lost that player sign an outside free agent to a contract of comparable sizeyou, you should cancel that courtesy selection. The NFL takes the missing free agents who weren’t canceled and distributes compensating picks at the end of rounds three, four, five, six and seven.
It’s a simple breakdown, it’s not complete and key information might be missing, but I think it will help you get from point A to point B.
Now, let’s talk about what the Rams have and, more importantly, what they haven’t done yet in free agency:
Loses… Matt Gay, Baker Mayfield and Nick Scott.
How about we answer a few questions?
Will the Rams get a comp pick when Bobby Wagner signs?
No. He was released.
Will the Rams get a courtesy pick when Odell Beckham, Jr. signs?
That’s a very interesting question actually. I don’t know, but I guess I would have had to sign in 2022.
If the Rams sign a player like guard Dalton Risner, will they lose a courtesy pick?
Will the Rams get a courtesy pick when Leonard Floyd signs?
Will the Rams get a courtesy pick when they sign A’Shawn Robinson or Greg Gaines?
At this point, either of them would probably have to sign a contract worth $4 million or more per season. It’s not a great sign that both got through the first week of free agency without any news, but Robinson will visit the Giants on Monday. If a team only values them at the level of someone like Morgan Fox, who left the Rams for the Chargers in 2022 and recently re-signed a contract that pays him $3.6 million per season, then the Rams may not get a comp pick. Taven Bryan just signed for $3.5 million. Jerry Tillery signed for $3.4 million.
Would a team see Robinson or Gaines as valuable as Shy Tuttle, who signed with the Panthers for $6.5 million a season? The question would be, why are Gaines and Robinson taking so long to sign then?
But Sebastian Joseph-Day signed with the Chargers for $8 million per season.
The magic number could be $4 million per season and that may be harder to eclipse than we think.
Will the Rams get a courtesy pick when Taylor Rapp signs?
It’s not a good sign that Scott has reached a deal before Rapp and his deal barely hit the threshold. Rapp has also had meetings with the Bengals, will they add both?
What about David Edwards?
It’s another guy who’s just floating around. There was more interest in Austin Corbett in 2022 than there appears to be in Edwards in 2023. Corbett received $8.75 million per season with Carolina. Would the Rams like to bring Edwards back?
How many courtesy picks will the Rams get in 2024?
The Rams haven’t shown any interest in adding free agents, so I don’t see them doing anything to cancel their compensation picks for 2024. Since they could already have three, I could see them end free agency with four: Definitely Gay, Mayfield and Scott. Probably, and then maybe A’Shawn Robinson signs for $5 million. It just doesn’t seem like Snead is doing anything in free agency and is willing to wait out veterans who don’t generate enough interest in March as the team cuts salaries and invests in the draft.
What this means for Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald remains the most interesting pending question mark on the 2023 roster. We just don’t see any movement to improve around those guys.