Monday, March 9, 2009

Free Agency: T-buffalO

The Buffalo Bills signed TO to a one-year contract. James Hardy, second round pick last year out of Indiana who has some amazing ball skills, will revel in mediocrity for another year. Trent Edwards had better get a good shrink.

Pittsburgh West signed Bryant McFadden. Can't really say that is much a surprise. He'll form a good cornerback tandem with DRC.

The Steelers will replace McFadden with some combination of Deshea Townsend and Willie Gay. Look for the Steelers to also go out and draft a cornerback in the first three rounds.

Speaking of the draft, the NFL announced a tentative seven-round draft schedule. Right now, the Steelers have 8 selections (two in Round 7). However, the compensatory picks have not been announced yet. Wikipedia is all over the definition of how compensatory picks work.

Compensatory picks

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.

I'm no expert on these matters, but I think the Steelers might get a compensatory pick from last year's free agent transactions (losing A-Fan). We'll find out though, don't bank on anything yet.

I'll leave you with a quote from Hines Ward in an interview he did for

"I don't know of too many teams in the league that can say they have two Super Bowl MVPs as starting wideouts on their team"



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