The deadline has passed for any free agent signings that will affect the awarding of compensatory picks in next year’s NFL draft, and the Patriots and Rams are the teams that look to be in the best shape for 2019 compensatory picks.
Because those big-name players weren’t the unrestricted free agents who count toward the compensatory pick formula. Players who arrive in trades, like Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, don’t count toward the compensatory pick formula. Nor do players who were cut by their previous teams, like Ndamukong Suh. But players who leave your team as unrestricted free agents and sign big-money contracts with other teams do count toward the formula. The Rams lost two such players, Sammy Watkins and Trumaine Johnson, and that’s why they’re expected to get two third-round picks.
Other teams expected to get third-round compensatory picks next year include Washington (for losing Kirk Cousins), Minnesota (Case Keenum) and Carolina (Andrew Norwell).
The NFL doesn’t publish the full compensatory pick formula, and part of the formula relates to players’ performance during their first seasons with their new teams, so it’s possible that some of this could change before the compensatory picks are awarded for next year’s draft. But right now, the Patriots and Rams are looking good.
Changes in NFL personnel departments are the norm this time of year, with employees shuffling after the draft.
If Coleman washes out of Cleveland, he’d become the latest failed first-round receiver in an eye-opening list of them. After Julio Jones and A.J. Green arrived in 2011 (Jonathan Baldwin was the first-round bust that year), round one has produced more than a few receivers who failed to live up to their potential. In 2012, Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, and A.J. Jenkins didn’t work out.
In 2013, Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson became more bust than boom. (DeAndre Hopkins turned out OK.) In 2015, Kevin White, DeVante Parker (who has yet to break out), Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, and Phillip Dorsett eventually underachieved. (Amari Cooper was the exception.)The 2016 class of Coleman, Will Fuller (1,058 total yards in two seasons, so not really a bust), Josh Doctson, and Laquon Treadwell have been uninspiring, at best. In 2017, Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross failed to overwhelm as rookies.
Of course, 2014 provided a major exception to the trend, with Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Kelvin Benjamin each performing at a high level, even through three of them were traded, with one traded twice.