In preparation for the upcoming draft, the NFL front office recently released its 2010 list of compensatory picks. These supplemental draft choices are awarded annually to teams that lost more qualifying free agents than they gained in the previous year.
The picks are awarded using a formula that factors in the player's contract, playing time, and postseason value to his new team. Though the formula is kept secret by the NFL, player salaries seem to be the most important determining factor.
Compensatory picks can't be traded.
Overall in 2010, 19 teams received compensatory picks. New England was awarded the most picks with four, while Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Atlanta were each awarded a third round pick—the highest a team can receive.
Here is the list of 2010 compensatory picks by round with their overall number in parentheses:
San Diego (168)
Green Bay (169)
New England (205)
San Francisco (206)
New England (247)
New England (248)
New England (250)
Tampa Bay (253)
St. Louis (254)
The 2010 NFL draft will be held from Thursday, April 22 through Saturday, April 24 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, with coverage by the NFL Network and ESPN.