For the third year in a row, the Cleveland Browns do not have any compensatory picks for the 2020 NFL Draft. The announcement on compensatory picks was made earlier today, as teams like the Patriots got especially richer, adding two third-round picks.
Let’s go over why the Browns aren’t being awarded any compensatory picks. The basic formula to start with (before looking at contracts) is to look at which free agents were lost and gained during the previous offseason. These have to be players who became unrestricted free agents, not players who were cut. There are also three other conditions to be aware of when it comes to players who might have signed with other teams:
- The players who Cleveland lost need to have stuck with the other team for most of the season.
- There used to be a stipulation that players with cheap contracts, such as the veteran minimum, did not count. However, recent examples show they might be counting now if they contribute to a significant amount of playing time.
- They have to be signed during the normal free agency period (and not in August, for example).
Over the Cap provided a cancellation chart to show how the Browns lost two free agents, but then added five:
A player like RB Kareem Hunt does not count in the “signed” column because he was cut by his previous team. Similarly, players like TE Darren Fells and S Derrick Kindred do not count in the “lost” column, since Cleveland opted to cut them while they still had years remaining on their contract.
In order for the Browns to have been eligible for compensatory picks in 2020, they would have needed to have lost more players than they signed in 2019. That was not the case, so therefore, Cleveland gets nothing.
Teams can receive a maximum of four compensatory picks each year. The full round-by-round draft order can now be found here.