In case anyone is unaware how these work, compensatory picks are
awarded to teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents
than they acquire. The number of picks a team can receive equals the
net loss of compensatory free agents, up to a maximum of four.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a secret formula based on
salary, playing time and postseason honors. Not every free agent lost
or signed is covered by the formula.
The primary factor in the value of the picks awarded is the average
annual value of the contract the player signed with his new team,
with an adjustment for playing time and a smaller adjustment for
postseason honors. The playing time used in the equation seemingly is
the percentage of offensive or defensive snaps played.
With the loss of G Alan Faneca last year, the Steelers were fully
expected to receive a 3rd round compensatory pick in this year's
draft. However, the NFL totally hosed the Steelers and only gave them a 5th rounder!
A noted draft guru who predicts the compensatory picks each year
wrote the following on his blog:
The one surprise that I can't explain is the Steelers getting only a
fifth-round pick after losing two players (Alan Faneca and Clark
Haggans) and signing one (Mewelde Moore). Haggans and Moore had
seventh-round values and should have canceled out each other. Faneca
played 99 percent of the snaps, made the Pro Bowl and got a huge
contract ($7.8 million per season, plus a little more that doesn't
count in the equation). He clearly had a third-round value, so I'm
curious about why the Steelers got a fifth. Hopefully the media in
Pittsburgh will look into it and get an answer.
Yea, it's called winning the Super Bowl.