It’s been seemingly eons since the Atlanta Falcons last had a meaningful compensatory pick. Comp picks are awarded to teams based on an unpublished mathematical equation that helps repay some teams that lose more free agents than they sign. The Falcons have been big spenders in free agency, and rarely let their own players leave. With all the top players the team needs to keep under the cap, good players are leaving in free agency.
With the Matt Ryan blockbuster extension, and upcoming deal for Grady Jarrett, the team had to let the likes of Dontari Poe, Taylor Gabriel, and Adrian Clayborn walk in free agency. According to Over the Cap, two of those players should net the Falcons with impressive 4th and 5th round comp picks.
Atlanta: They will have to hope that Andre Roberts not only makes the Jets’ roster, but also qualifies for the formula. If he doesn’t, that could jeopardize their 5th rounder for Taylor Gabriel. They could rectify that by in turn cutting or benching Logan Paulsen, on the same salary as Roberts.
I’m assuming Clayborn’s $5 million annual average salary is offset by Brandon Fusco’s $4.25 million annual average salary. Since Atlanta was otherwise quiet, they come out big on Poe’s deal with the Carolina Panthers, and Gabriel’s deal with the Chicago Bears.
That’s a great return on investment for the Falcons: two mid-round picks for players they didn’t draft. Gabriel came to Atlanta via waivers before the 2016 season, and the Falcons grabbed Poe on a one-year deal last year. They got good production from both players, but neither were likely to stick with Atlanta this offseason. You usually saw well-run teams like the Baltimore Ravens hit on multiple comp picks before that whole team fell apart.
The Falcons should have, by my count, nine draft picks next year, and have the chance to trade comp picks as well. I’d be surprised if they don’t make trade one of those draft picks before the start of the regular season.