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Free agent signings no longer factor into compensatory draft pick formula

Jameis Winston's free agency is reportedly over as he is expected to sign a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, who also extended Taysom Hill for another season.

A handful of players from the top 100 free agent list we compiled before the start of the new league year remain unattached and one potential obstacle to signing them was removed on Monday afternoon.

As of 4 p.m. ET, unrestricted free agent signings no longer factor into the formula the league uses to determine compensatory draft picks. Players who were cut by their former team never factor into the formula.

Up until that point, players signing deals with an annual value that ranked in the top 35 percent of the league qualify their former teams for compensatory picks. That team’s own signings also factor into the formula and there’s a cap of 32 league-wide picks each year.

Several free agents still on the market could be in line for contracts that would land in the top 35 percent. One is quarterback Jameis Winston, who is reportedly close to signing with the Saints and the Monday deadline may have been a consideration about finalizing the deal.

Jadeveon Clowney, Logan Ryan, Markus Golden and Jason Peters are some other players who might be more appealing to teams now that signing them wouldn’t jeopardize losing compensatory picks that teams might be in line for this season.