Will LA Rams abandon comp picks in 2021 NFL Free Agency market?
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams strategy for the 2020 NFL Free Agency market was clear. But will it be as clear this year? That’s the million-dollar question right now.
You see, the team made it a point to avoid shopping for free agents whose contracts had expired. Rather, the team sought to avoid any offset to their compensatory draft picks. After all, the defined algorithm requires offsets of lost free agents by those who are signed in the same year. Teams can avoid that offset by shopping for players who were cut by their previous team. Let me explain.
Compensatory picks are not earned, nor are they guaranteed. They were negotiated between the NFL and NFLPA, and require a calculation to award teams that lose valuable free agents to another team. The qualifying rules are pretty simple, but the actual calculation is nightmarish. So it works this way:
I – Only players whose contracts expire qualify for the calculation
II – Only 32 compensatory picks will be awarded in any given draft.
III – No more than four compensatory picks will be awarded to one NFL team per draft.
IV – Teams who sign free agents must offset their potential compensatory picks via 1-for-1
Of course, the rules and limits are difficult to comprehend when talking theory and the NFL’s entire 32 teams. What is truly necessary in order to grasp the real-world impact is to examine one team. So all of this makes more sense when applied to the LA Rams situation. Let’s look more closely.