NFL compensatory picks: Rams, Patriots are big winners as rich get richer

Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, NFL Draft

The NFL compensatory picks were revealed and the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots were the big winners as the NFL’s rich get richer.

It’s just over two months from the 2019 NFL Draft, but the league awarded compensatory picks on Friday. Those picks are determined by losses and gains in free agency, and the two Super Bowl teams ended up in good position.

The Rams and the Patriots, of course, coming off appearing in Super Bowl LIII, each received two third-round picks. New England got No. 97 and No. 101 overall, while Los Angeles got back-to-back picks at No. 98 and 99 overall.

Among the four compensatory free agents they lost last offseason, the Rams notably lost cornerback Trumaine Johnson and Sammy Watkins last offseason. They also signed zero compensatory free agents, as their notable moves were free agent signings who were released by their previous team (Ndamukong Suh) or trades.

The Patriots had a fairly typical free agent exodus last offseason, losing left tackle Nate Solder, cornerback Malcolm Butler, running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Danny Amendola among the six compensatory free agents who departed. They did sign two CFAs, in defensive end Adrian Clayborn and running back Jeremy Hill.

When it was all said and done, 15 teams received compensatory picks based on a formula after losing more or better compensatory free agents last year. Three teams, the Washington Redskins (No. 96 overall), Carolina Panthers (No. 100 overall) and Baltimore Ravens (No. 102 overall) each got one third-round pick. Four more, the Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles, got a single fourth-round pick.

The Cincinnati Bengals (three picks in the sixth round), Minnesota Vikings (two picks in the seventh round) and Arizona Cardinals (three picks in the seventh round) were the only other teams to receive multiple 2019 compensatory picks in the same round.

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So the Rams and Patriots are in a unique position this year, with extra picks within the top 101 overall simply upon arrival in Nashville for the draft. Whether those picks turn into extra players or allow for maneuverability via trades, the rich have gotten richer already.

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