The Redskins let some free agents walk out the door in March, but they didn’t lose these players and get nothing in return. 

Washington is likely to get four additional draft picks in the 2019 draft via the NFL’s system designed to compensate teams for losing players as unrestricted free agents, per Over the Cap

The main part of the formula has been finalized. Only unrestricted free agents signed by May 8 are part of the formula. Free agents signed from today on do not go into the compensatory pick calculations. 

The formula also factors in how well the lost free agent performs the coming season. That’s why the Redskins are “likely to” get four picks. The performance factor usually affects only the order of the picks, but since the formula is a secret, we don’t know for sure. We’ll look at the picks that should be coming to the Redskins as of right now. 

The highest compensatory pick a team can get is a third rounder and that is what Washington will get for losing Kirk Cousins to the Vikings. His new contract averages $28 million per year, by far the highest of any UFA that changed teams. That should land the Redskins a pick near the top of the stack of the seven third-round selections awarded, almost assuring them a comp pick in the top 100. 

In addition, the Redskins will get a fifth-round pick for losing OL Spencer Long and two sixth-round selections for losing WRs Ryan Grant and Terrelle Pryor. 


They won’t get a pick for every free agent they lost. The formula also accounts for free agents signed by the team. They lost OLB Trent Murphy, who signed a contract with an average annual value of $7.4 million. But the fifth-round pick transaction that would have been sent to Washington was canceled out when the Redskins signed WR Paul Richardson for an average of $8 million per year. 

The other two primary free agents the Redskins signed, CB Orlando Scandrick and OLB Pernell McPhee, do not cancel out picks for any of the players they signed. Both were released by their former teams and players who were cut do not enter into the formula. 

The Redskins will not get picks for losing TE Niles Paul and LB Will Compton. There is a limit of 32 compensatory picks in a draft and the contracts of those two players fell below the level needed to get into the comp pick game. 

As of now, the Redskins have not added to or subtracted from their 2019 draft picks. They have their picks in rounds one through seven plus the four compensatory picks for a total of 11. Thanks to a recent change, teams can now trade these compensatory picks for players or other picks. The Redskins have the capital to do some wheeling and dealing before and during the 2019 draft. 

This could help the Redskins if they get an injury in training camp or if they look at a position like left guard and decide that need an upgrade. They could make a deal for a player to bolster a position of need and still have a good stockpile of draft picks left.

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: The Redskins' roster bubble--Defense
- The draft: Grading the Redskins' draft
- The O-line: Redskins slow played problem at LG
- Schedule preview: Can the Redskins contain Aaron Rodgers in Week 3?

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.