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Compensatory Draft Picks Announced for 2015: No Extra Picks for the Saints

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The Saints were projected to receive the final pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, as a compensatory pick for free agents lost to other teams in 2014. Yesterday evening's announcement, however, did not include New Orleans in the list of franchises who will be receiving extra picks this year.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

According to Over the Cap's best calculations, the New Orleans Saints were slotted to gain a compensatory pick this year:  the last pick in the Draft, granting them the decision for Mr. Irrelevant 2015.  However, the experts at OtC seem to have completely overlooked the Carolina Panthers, who received picks in the 5th and 6th rounds after not being mentioned at all in the initial calculations.

When the 2015 compensatory picks were announced yesterday evening, the Green Bay Packers (CJ Wilson) and San Francisco 49ers (Colt McCoy) had also managed to grab picks ahead of New Orleans, whose lowest-paid qualifying Unrestricted Free Agent in 2014 was Charles Brown.  Each of these three players received salaries of $795,000 from their new teams this year.  But even though Brown played more snaps than the other two, their respective former teams were awarded picks ahead of New Orleans.

There is no way for us to predict exactly where each of the 32 compensatory picks will go in a given year, since the NFL has not released the entirely of its secret formula, which is said to take into account each qualifying player's salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor.  Of course, if the Commisioner's discretion is a factor of immeasurable weight in the secret formula, any predictions relying solely on mathematics can only be so accurate.

New Orleans was not the only team who received fewer picks than OtC initially projected.  However, the Saints were the only team to be completely removed from the compensatory pick field altogether.  It's not surprising, given that Tom Benson's franchise was projected to be barely on the cusp of the compensatory pool.  However, it also seems that the Saints continue to be unlikely to catch a break under Commisioner Goodell's regime.

Team Projected Awarded
Cincinnati Bengals 3rd 3rd, 4th
San Francisco 49ers 4th 4th, 7th
Carolina Panthers none 5th, 6th
Baltimore Ravens 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th 4th, 5th, 5th
Houston Texans 5th, 6th, 6th, 6th 5th, 6th, 6th
Green Bay Packers 6th, 6th, 7th 6th, 6th
New Orleans Saints 7th none

The NFL could easily silence the conspiracy theorists by releasing the details of the secret formula by which they determine which teams will be awarded compensatory picks.  After all, what is the point of secrecy in such a matter, if subjective discretion doesn't enter into the equation?