Most people have become savvy to the comp pick game by now, especially knowing John Schneider likes to play it as much as any NFL GM. With every move comes a bevy of questions from fans about how it affects the comp formula. So we’ve put together a real-time tracker, using the excellent tool created by Nick Korte at OverTheCap.com. Here are the rules guiding comp picks.
Current comp count: None (plus-1)
TE Jimmy Graham ($10m APY)
WR Paul Richardson ($8m)
DT Sheldon Richardson ($8m)
TE Luke Willson ($2.5m)
TE Ed Dickson ($3.6m)
LB Barkevious Mingo ($3.4m)
WR Jaron Brown ($2.75m)
DT Tom Johnson ($2.1m)
DT Shamar Stephen ($2.1m)
OG D.J. Fluker ($1.37m)
CB Dontae Johnson ($1.3m)
After the signing deadline May 8, the Seahawks surprisingly ended up at plus-3, but that number started going the other direction in September.
Dontae Johnson was put on IR and then released. The team also released Tom Johnson on Sept. 15. Dickson, on NFI to start the season, also could be released at some point — although around Week 4 it seemed like he was on track to return to the team after his mandated six-week stint. Stephen and Fluker both were starting, so they seemed unlikely to be let go (unless, of course, Fluker couldn’t stay healthy).
Assuming the four lost free agents remain with their new clubs, the Seahawks would have to drop two more guys to put themselves in position for a possible fourth-round comp pick next year. Seems unlikely. Of course, they have until Week 10 to make those calls. If they really stumble or don’t need those guys, Schneider could decide to go comp hunting again — especially now missing a 2, 6 and 7 next year.
As for why he didn’t play the comp game this year, Schneider had said the priority was fielding a playoff team. “We talk about being a championship-caliber football team every year and not being one of those teams that takes those huge dips, so we want to be able to be competing every single year and we’re doing that at every avenue we possibly can,” Schneider said. “It just so happens that these (added) guys happen to be unrestricted free agents. We’ve been involved with other guys that were cut and don’t count towards compensatory picks, but we’re not just going to pass on guys and sit on our hands. We want our fans knowing that we’re busting our tail at every avenue.”
Schneider also might have considered Seattle’s terrible Day 3 draft performance since 2013. Schneider seemingly decided Dickson, Mingo and Brown were worth more than 2019 fourth-round picks (although we’ll see on Dickson).
With so many players signed for only 2018, the Seahawks will be in position to play the comp game again next year. Among their top scheduled UFAs: Earl Thomas, Frank Clark, K.J. Wright, Justin Coleman, Dion Jordan, Stephen, Fluker. Some of those guys could be extended (as Duane Brown and Tyler Lockett were), but the rest will factor in next year’s COMPetition.