Hawks get rare third-round comp pick

NFL draftAs expected, the Seahawks will have three compensatory draft picks this year — including a third-rounder for losing Byron Maxwell last offseason.

Adding a fifth-rounder for losing James Carpenter and a sixth for Malcolm Smith, the Seahawks now have nine picks: a first, a second, two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and two sevenths. They have four picks in the top 97.

Last summer, they traded their fifth to Kansas City for safety Kelcie McCray and their sixth to Detroit for cornerback Mohammed Seisay. They acquired the other seventh from Dallas for running back Christine Michael.

This will be just the second time the Seahawks have ever had a third-round comp pick. In 2005, they pulled a third-rounder for losing Shawn Springs that they used on Leroy Hill.

The Hawks are one of seven teams with at least three comp picks this year. Dallas, New England and San Francisco each received four.

The Seahawks had just four total comp picks in John Schneider’s first five drafts, but two straight Super Bowl appearances created a big market for Seattle free agents, and they now have received seven comp picks in the last two years.

In 2015, they had four comp picks, thanks to losing Golden Tate (netted a fourth-round pick), Brandon Browner (fifth), Breno Giacomini (sixth), Walter Thurmond (sixth) and Clinton McDonald (did not count because they were already at the four-pick limit).

Next year, the Seahawks are looking at three comp picks, based on losing Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy and Brandon Mebane. Nick Korte of Overthecap.com projects Irvin to be worth a fourth, Sweezy a fifth and Mebane a sixth. If Russell Okung signs elsewhere, that could bump it to four — depending on how many other Seattle UFAs leave and how many UFAs Seattle signs.

Seahawks comp picks 2016

RULES FOR COMP PICKS

This compensatory system has been in place since 1994, the year after unrestricted free agency was implemented.

The basic rules for comp picks are such:

**A team losing more or better qualifying free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive extra draft picks.

**Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula that uses salary, playing time and postseason honors. Only unrestricted free agents whose contracts naturally expire or void (no forced voids) are eligible under the formula, and those who sign one-year deals for low minimums generally do not count.

**A team receives picks that equal the net loss of compensatory free agents, with a maximum of four. The highest round in which a team can acquire a comp pick is the third (although a 10-year vet can net no more than a fifth).

**The league hands out 32 extra choices each year; if there are not 32 qualifying losses, the teams at the top of the draft receive the extra seventh-round picks until 32 choices have been allocated. (The league gave out 33 this year, possibly because New England and Kansas City both have forfeited picks.)

**Comp picks cannot be traded this year, but the rule will change in 2017.

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