The formula for compensatory picks has always been somewhat of a mystery. Everyone assumes that there is one, but no one seems to know exactly how it works. What we do know is that the NFL bases it on playing time, postseason awards (Pro Bowl, etc.) and salary.
After Dawan Landry (Jaguars), Chris Chester (Redskins) and Josh Wilson (Redskins again) all signed long-term deals with their respective teams, Ravens fans should have been expecting some kind of compensation.
They got some today with an extra fourth- and fifth-round pick (No. 130 and 169 overall), even though Bryant McKinnie, Ricky Williams and Bernard Pollard were all brought in as free agents last year. The picks were based on the fact that Baltimore lost better free agents than they added last year, a very subjective premise but none the less effective.
Players that the Ravens released last season, like Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg, Todd Heap and Willis McGahee did not factor into the equation.
The extra picks makes up for the fourth-round pick that was traded to Buffalo for wide receiver Lee Evans. The Ravens now have eight picks in the draft as follows:
Round 1: No. 29
Round 2: No. 60
Round 3: No. 91
Round 4: No. 130 (compensatory)
Round 5: No. 155
Round 5: No. 169 (compensatory)
Round 6: No. 186
Round 7: No. 218
Expect the Ravens to address needs like kick returner another backup running back to go along with Anthony Allen now that they have some more flexibility in the draft.