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.
In 2018, Schneider needed to add veteran players to a young roster, so he didn’t play the comp game like he had in previous years. He added seven UFAs and lost four — the final tally was 5-4 after he cut two guys before Week 10.
In the 2019 offseason, Schneider wanted to get back in the comp game. At the Combine, he told 710 ESPN’s John Clayton: “You have to be careful with unrestricted free agency because there’s that balance of losing draft picks. … We ended up signing so many unrestricted free agents (in 2018) that we ended up losing draft picks (this year).”
In April, he said that was indeed the plan: “This year, we’re trying to be a little bit more selective with the cap casualty guys that don’t count toward your compensatory picks.”
The Seahawks lost five qualifying players and added two, putting them in line for three potential 2020 comp picks. (It could be four if Mike Iupati does not count; see below.)
2020 comp picks: 3, 4, 6
3 — FS Earl Thomas ($13.75m APY)
4 — CB Justin Coleman ($9m)
6 — OG J.R. Sweezy ($4.5m)
6 — DT Shamar Stephen ($4.15m)
7 — RB Mike Davis ($3m)
7 — QB Brett Hundley ($1.9m)
7 — S Maurice Alexander ($1m)
6 — K Jason Myers ($3.88m)
7 — OG Mike Iupati ($2.75m)
Chicago cut Davis before Week 10 (the comp formula deadline) to preserve a fourth-round comp pick, meaning Seattle lost a seventh-round pick. But …
Iupati counted as an addition even though his contract was voided during a renegotiation in 2018. He canceled the loss of Hundley.
Alexander did not qualify at $1 million. His deal originally was reported as $1.38 million.
The deadline for comp signings was May 7. Players signed after that (e.g., Ziggy Ansah) did not count.
Schneider was so comfortable in his 2020 comp count that he traded a 2020 sixth-rounder for a 2019 seventh-rounder he used on Hawaii WR John Ursua and also sent a seventh to New England for TE Jacob Hollister.
The draft haul for 2020: 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6