Opportunities to play the compensatory draft pick game during free agency have been few and far between for the Bears over the years. Especially during the Ryan Pace era.
But there was a line of thinking that things could be different this year. With Ryan Poles in, Pace out, and potential upheaval throughout the roster, it was easy to envision the Bears netting future draft capital via compensatory picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. But this thread from Nick Korte (an authority figure on these matters) doesn’t give me much hope:
A noteworthy thread. https://t.co/RpVq0oeaSJ
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 17, 2022
As things stand right now, the Bears aren’t in a position to be awarded compensatory picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Things could change, but they’d need to do so in a big way in order to shake things up and put the odds in the Bears’ favor.
Some highlights as to why that is the case:
• It turns out $500K in Allen Robinson’s contract with the Rams could easily sway this thing. Korte notes that a $15.5 million per year deal for Robinson could nudge the Bears into a third-round value on the compensatory scale. But if it is just $15 million on an annual basis, then it would slide down to fourth round status. And even still, it would be canceled out by Larry Ogunjobi’s deal. Go figure.
• Now, if Robinson’s deal gets a fourth-round value, then a path exists for the Bears to net a fifth-round compensatory pick for James Daniels’ signing with Pittsburgh. But so much more has to go in the franchise’s favor before we get to that point.
• Cornerback Artie Burns and punter Pat O’Donnell reportedly did not sign for enough money in their contracts to qualify for inclusion in the formula. As a reminder, it isn’t just about losing players in free agency. What they sign for matters, too. That Burns (1/$2M per Schefter) and O’Donnell (2/$4M via Demovsky) didn’t get enough to move the needle is a tough break for this front office.
• The Raiders’ signing of offensive lineman Alex Bars does *NOT* figure into the formula. And that is a bummer, too. Bars doesn’t count toward the formula because he was a restricted free agent who wasn’t tendered a contract. Unfortunately, RFAs are ineligible to be compensatory free agents. So much for help on that front.
• An unexpected twist is the removal of Jakeem Grant Sr. as a player who was eligible as a compensatory free agent. Per Korte, Grant doesn’t count for the formula due to his contract. Getting a compensatory pick as part of losing Grant in free agency would’ve been a nice pick-me-up. Especially now that I’m thinking about how Chicago sent a conditional future choice to Miami. At this point, Poles an only hope the conditions of the deal weren’t met. Otherwise, a future Day 3 pick belongs to the Dolphins.
Everybody got that? Good. For more, re-visit the thread and follow Korte as he shares updates and perspective often.
All in all, it it isn’t looking great if you were hoping for a future compensatory draft pick. This isn’t to say there isn’t a path to squeeze one out at the end of the process. However, it will be like walking a tight-rope. Over a a pool of mutated sea-bass. Wearing laser beams attached to their freaking heads. Because not only are they not losing enough free agents, this group still needs to sign a boatload of players to fill out a roster. The math simply isn’t in the Bears’ favor at this point.