Compensatory picks offer more compensation than the Saints realize New Orleans Saints Teddy Bridgewater Jersey , and organizations like the Patriots can serve as a model for the Saints’ front office to rethink their modus operandi."The year is 2019 and once again, the Saints have failed to earn any compensatory picks. As fellow CSC writer Chris Dunnells pointed out, the Saints sadly sit at the very bottom of the league having earned only 10 compensatory picks since 1994. The Ravens have earned the most with 50. The Cowboys and Packers tie for second with 42, while the consistently dominant Patriots sit third with 39.Every year, a couple weeks before the start of free agency, the NFL announces which teams will receive compensatory picks for that year’s draft. I knew they existed, but I really didn’t know what they were or how they were rewarded.This video helps make the system a little easier to understand.In fact, the actual methodology used for determining compensatory picks is a secret. We do know a few aspects of those determining factors, however. The NFL Management Council awards the picks, which have only been fully trade-able since 2017, to teams who lost more or better compensatory free agents than they acquired the previous season. Only Unrestricted Free Agents whose contracts either expired or were voided count in the equation. The secret formula used to derive each UFA’s compensatory draft pick value is based on salary, playing time, and postseason honors. The comp picks fall between rounds three and seven and no team can earn more than four comp picks in one season.If you don’t think comp picks are that valuable because they haven’t produced many stars, please give me a chance to show you how the Saints have been wasting a valuable opportunity to acquire draft capital that they could have been using to bolster their roster and better manage their salary cap.Draft picks, in general, can be just as valuable as veterans simply because their contracts can be controlled for around five years before they are mandated a sizeable raise. In my opinion, the Saints actually won the Brandin Cooks trade because they upgraded from a fourth to a third round pick and were able to draft Ryan Ramczyk, who is a top rated tackle still playing on a rookie pay scale through 2021.Third rounders, in particular, are extremely valuable because the quality of the player is still very high, but their rookie contract scale is much lower than a first or second rounder. Jimmy Graham, Brian Westbrook, Cliff Avril, T.Y. Hilton, Navarro Bowman, Frank Gore, Jason Witten, Russell Wilson, Steve Smith, and Alvin Kamara were all picked in the third round. Jared Allen was a fourth rounder. Richard Sherman was a fifth rounder. Antonio Brown was a sixth rounder. Shannon Sharpe was a seventh rounder. You get the idea. The draft is one big lottery and the more tickets you have Womens Teddy Bridgewater 2019 Jersey , the more chances you have to strike gold with a quality player.That’s why successful organizations like the Patriots have been trading back in the draft for more picks, letting their unrestricted free agents leave, and choosing to spend their money on lower cost players that have been released by their previous organizations instead of splurging on their high priced free agents. If the comp pick formula is actually a secret, Bill Belichick knows exactly how to employ it to his advantage; and this is where the Saints have failed in their roster management year after year as they employ a go for broke, Drew Brees is gonna die next year so let’s trade up in the draft and overspend in free agency strategy.Last year, the Patriots said goodbye to four quality starters. If we just looked at their names, we may have thought Belichick was letting a lot of talent walk out of the building, but when we look at the draft picks the team acquired by letting these guys go, the move looks like a stroke of genius.Nate Solder has been a shell of himself on the Giants yet raked in a third round comp pick for the Patriots. Malcolm Butler struggled in his new role as number one cornerback on the Titans and also netted a third round pick. Letting Dion Lewis walk brought back a sixth rounder and Cameron Fleming’s exit earned the franchise a seventh rounder.Does Mickey Loomis understand that compensatory picks even exist? Doesn’t he realize there are multiple ways of acquiring talent outside of limiting draft picks by constantly trading up and overspending in free agency while letting their quality home grown draft picks leave the building only to get better outside of it?When the Broncos traded for Brock Osweiler and his bloated contract, they also received a second round pick. They had no intention of keeping Osweiler. In essence, they paid Osweiler’s huge salary out of their enormous cap space to acquire the second round pick. It’s a beautiful example of a front office using its’ cap space as a way to acquire draft capital instead of using draft capital to acquire veteran talent.But the Saints can’t do that because they never have cap space. In fact, they are routinely at the bottom of the league every year in available salary cap space. So every year they restructure contracts and kick the can down the road, or they cut players who were too expensive because the Saints overpaid them with no competitive incentive to do so. Some examples of such players off the top of my head are Jairus Byrd, Coby Fleener, and Kurt Coleman.On the other end of the spectrum, the Patriots traded two of their best players Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins in consecutive seasons for second and third round picks respectively. With no plans to extend either player, Belichick acquired quality draft capital a year earlier by trading the players instead of trying to earn comp picks by letting them leave in free agency.The Patriots also employ a smart tactic by including club-options as the final year in some players’ contracts. This allows the team to let the player leave in free agency, therefore netting them a comp pick instead of cutting them, which earns no pick at all.I’m sorry I just went on a Patriots love fest. I promise I hate them just like you, but damnit, I envy their shrewdness and undeniable ability to consistently acquire draft capital, maintain higher than average salary cap space, and know when to let players go; even the really good ones. Now that I know what the hell compensatory draft picks are, I can’t stop obsessing over how the Saints have consistently failed to operate within the system they share with 31 other franchises. Belichick can’t be the only general manager who’s figured this out. Don’t forget that before the comp picks became trade-able in 2017, they were still capable of making lasting impacts on a team’s roster. In 2000, Belichick used a compensatory sixth round pick on a quarterback out of Michigan named Tom Brady. In 2006, Loomis and the Saints selected a wide receiver out of Hofstra named Marques Colston with a compensatory seventh round pick. I think we all know how those two careers turned out. Here comes Who Dey vs. Who Dat.Say what?The Who Dat folks from New Orleans go head-on with the Who Dey fans in Cincinnati on Sunday. And don't ask which group first came up with its catchy phrase and odd rendering of the English language."Who Dey? I don't understand. I'm baffled," says Saints running back Mark Ingram. "It's like, did they copy us? Or not? I don't know. Who Dat! Who Dat! Who Dat! ..."What anyone might ask is whether the Saints (7-1), coming off three huge victories Cheap Teddy Bridgewater Youth Jersey , including handing the Rams their first loss, are ripe for a letdown. Drew Brees and company face Philadelphia next week."They're going to be hungry coming off the bye week," Ingram says of the Bengals. "They have playoff aspirations. They have aspirations of winning their division. So every game is important to them just like it is to us. So we're going up there in foreign territory, hostile territory, and we've got to go make it happen. We're a good team. We respect them but we're always worried about this building, this team, what we need to do to put ourselves in position to have success."It might be difficult for New Orleans to find a way to lose this one, though. In the past three games, the Bengals (5-3) have given up 481 yards to Pittsburgh, then 551 to Kansas City and 576 to Tampa Bay.Granted, those are three of the NFL's top attacks. The Saints are up there, too, so if Cincinnati gives up 500 yards Sunday, it will become the first team to allow 500 in three consecutive games."We're underachieving right now," defensive end Carlos Dunlap admits. "We're playing well enough to win some games, which is why we're 5-3. If we work on the negatives, we can be that elite defense and that elite team."Right now, the eliteness is in the Big Easy"They go as Brees goes," Dunlap adds. "We've got to find a way to slow down that future Hall of Famer."The weekend began Thursday night with Pittsburgh's 52-21 home victory over Carolina. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns to help the Steelers (6-2-1) win their fifth straight. The Panthers (6-3) had won three in a row.Off this week are Minnesota (5-3-1), Denver (3-6), Baltimore (4-5) and Houston (6-3).Dallas (3-5) at Philadelphia (4-4)For the Cowboys to stay real in the NFC East, they need a quick reversal of fortune. With four of those five losses coming on the road, a visit to the Linc isn't all that enticing.These teams meet on "Sunday Night Football" for the 10th consecutive season and 12th time overall. Dallas must find a passing game somewhere, and spring Ezekiel Elliott for some big plays, but the blocking unit has declined significantly.The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles are 17-5 at home under coach Doug Pederson. Carson Wentz has thrown at least one TD with no more than one interception in 21 straight games, tied with Matt Ryan for the longest streak in NFL history. He has a new target in Golden Tate. The wideout was obtained from Detroit, for which he had eight catches for 132 yards and two TDs vs. the Cowboys on Sept. 30.Seattle (4-4) at Los Angeles Rams (8-1)Coming off their first defeat, the Rams will remember they struggled to win 33-31 at Seattle last month. A victory would give LA a 4陆-game edge in the NFC West and pretty much shut it down.Both teams boast potent ground games, with the big star being LA's Todd Gurley. The Rams are No. 1 in the NFL with Gurley at 868 yards rushing; he also has 12 TD runs; he has scored in 12 consecutive games, the longest regular-season streak in team history.The Seahawks are tops in rushing since Week 3 with 159.8 yards per game after concentrating more on the ground game following an 0-2 start.Arizona (2-6) at Kansas City (8-1)The Cardinals are 0-4-1 at Kansas City White Marcus Williams Jersey , and this isn't exactly the best time to be visiting. Arizona has the NFL's worst offense and ranks 31st in pass defense. All the Chiefs do, with Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, is score, score and score some more.But Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald could make some history. Fitzgerald needs 33 yards receiving to pass Terrell Owens (15,934) for second in NFL history. Fitz needs 14 receptions to pass Jerry Rice (San Francisco, 1,281) for the NFL record for receptions with one team.Detroit (3-5) at Chicago (5-3)A very lopsided series recently in favor of Detroit, which has won nine of 10. Indeed, Chicago hasn't won an NFC North game in its past 10 attempts.But the Lions allowed 10 sacks 鈥?yes, 10 鈥?to Minnesota last week, and Chicago has an even better defense than the Vikings.The Bears also are decently balanced and rank fifth in scoring. Still, their calling card is on D, and they scored twice that way against Buffalo: Eddie Jackson's 65-yard fumble recovery and Leonard Floyd's 19-yard interception return.Washington (5-3) at Tampa Bay (3-5)The Redskins were routed at home by Atlanta last weekend and lost three key players, including both starting guards. Adrian Peterson has three consecutive 100-yard rushing games against Tampa Bay, including last year with the Cardinals. Can he find room to roam behind a makeshift offensive line?Tampa sure can pass and sure can score, but it often falls so far behind that it can't catch up. The Bucs have been outscored 103-27 in the first half of Ryan Fitzpatrick's past three starts, all losses.Still, Fitzpatrick has three games with four or more TD passes, the most in the NFC this season, and has been much better than erstwhile starter Jameis Winston.New England (7-2) at Tennessee (4-4)Here we go again: New England is on a roll as Tom Brady makes everyone around him better.The Patriots have won six straight (seven in a row overall against Tennessee). Brady will play in his 300th game, including postseason, and will join Brett Favre (326) as the only NFL quarterbacks to appear in 300 games. Brady needs three TD passes to tie Peyton Manning (579) for the most in NFL history, also including playoffs.Tennessee comes off a solid victory at Dallas and coach Mike Vrabel had his biggest playing days in New England, where he won three titles."We've just gotten ourselves to the surface where there's a little bit of air, a little bit of water," Vrabel says. "You're kind of taking a little bit of both in and you can't survive there for long. But you can survive there for a few minutes. And so we got to make the next decision to see if we can get our heads completely above water."Atlanta (4-4) at Cleveland (2-6-1)Injuries seemed to ruin the Falcons' season, yet here they are at .500 and with six games upcoming against teams currently owning losing records. Matt Ryan is having an outstanding year, even while overshadowed in the NFC South by Brees and Cam Newton.With 13 yards receiving Sunday Marcus Williams Jersey 2019 , Julio Jones will reach 10,000 in his career and become the fastest player to reach that milestone (104 games).The Browns have dropped four straight, and are 0-1 under interim coach Gregg Williams. But their .786 winning percentage (11-3) against the Falcons is the team's highest against any opponent.Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) at Oakland (1-7)Another guy not getting enough recognition for a superb passing season is Philip Rivers while Patrick Mahomes grabs the AFC West headlines. Playing the woeful Raiders shouldn't hurt Rivers' resume: He has completed 75 of 100 passes for 994 yards, six TDs and no INTs in his past three outings vs. Oakland for a 126.0 rating.Plus, the Chargers have won five straight for their best record at the season's midpoint since 2006.Meanwhile, the Raiders are such a mess that they have been outscored 55-3 over the past five quarters and are allowing a 113.9 passer rating, on pace for the worst in franchise history.Miami (5-4) at Green Bay (3-4-1)Somehow, the Dolphins are a wild-card contender despite being outgained by 704 yards and outscored by 38 points. Much of that can be attributed to the past three road games, in which they were outscored 107-47.On the bright side, Miami ranks first with 15 interceptions, including four last week against the Jets.Aaron Rodgers, of course, doesn't throw picks. Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns to one interception, leading the league with a 0.3 percent interception percentage. And RB Aaron Jones leads the NFL at 6.03 yards per carry.Jacksonville (3-5) at Indianapolis (3-5)Two 3-5 marks that look much different. Jacksonville has dropped four in a row and is among the most disappointing clubs in football. Indy is giving a decent accounting of itself despite a lack of talent.There's plenty of skill at quarterback, however. Andrew Luck, who missed 2017 with a shoulder injury, is back in fine form and has not been sacked in his past 154 pass attempts dating to the second offensive play against New England on Oct. 4. It's the longest stretch of his pro career.Colts K Adam Vinatieri will be honored for breaking the NFL's career scoring record two weeks ago at Oakland. Vinatieri needs one win to tie George Blanda (209) for most regular-season wins in league history.Buffalo (2-6) at New York Jets (3-6)With all that record scoring throughout the league, this could be an 8-5 snoozer.Sam Darnold has regressed behind center for the Jets and now has a foot injury. But let's be fair: Darnold has very little help, especially with versatile RB Bilal Powell on IR. Last year's starter, veteran QB Josh McCown, steps in.As for Buffalo, well, maybe getting rid of Tyrod Taylor wasn't such a wise move.New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (2-7), Monday nightThis isn't likely to be as much of a sleep-inducer as Bills-Jets. At least a national TV audience gets to watch Saquon Barkley, the most dynamic rookie to hit New York since Odell Beckham Jr. 鈥?and without all the baggage.San Francisco has its own intriguing story after rookie QB Nick Mullens tore up Bay Area rival Oakland last week. Mullens joined Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton as the only players with at least 250 yards passing, three TDs and no INTs in his career debut.AP Sports Writer Joe Kay and Brett Martel contributed to this report.
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