- The Bucs were not on the list when the NFL distributed this year's 32 compensatory draft picks on Monday
- Tampa Bay last received a compensatory pick in 2011, and in 2010 used a seventh-round comp pick to take Erik Lorig
- The Bucs currently hold five picks in the upcoming draft and those are now specifically slotted after the addition of the extra selections
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been active on the free agent market this month, in part because they currently hold only five picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, limiting how many depth chart issues they can address in May.
Because the Buccaneers were also active in free agency last year, most notably with the signing of All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson, they will be receiving no additional draft help from the NFL. The league announced which teams would receive compensatory picks early Monday evening, and for the third year in a row Tampa Bay is not on the list.
As always, the league added exactly 32 picks that are slotted at the ends of Rounds 3-7, in this case distributing them to 13 different teams. The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets got the most, each receiving the maximum allotment of four comp picks, while Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh and St. Louis all got three additional picks each. Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Baltimore and San Francisco (in that order) got the most coveted selections at the end of the third round – picks 97-100 overall. The Falcons were the only NFC South team to receive any draft/free agency compensation this year.
The NFL Management Council uses a complex formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors to determine which teams had a net loss of qualifying free agents the previous year. The Buccaneers might have been close (this author predicted in February that the Bucs would get a late seventh-round compensatory pick), but they weren't next in line after the extra selections were distributed. In announcing the added picks on Monday, the NFL also identified four teams that qualified for more compensation through the system – Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Oakland, in that order – even though they won't actually receive extra picks, as the system is capped at 32.
The Buccaneers currently hold their own picks in Rounds 1-3, 5 and 7 in the 2014 draft. Their fourth-round pick went to the New York Jets in last year's Darrelle Revis trade, while their sixth-rounder was sent to Chicago for Gabe Carimi. The team could potentially add extra picks through draft-weekend trades.
The signing of S Dashon Goldson (left) was one of the reasons the Bucs did not get a comp pick in 2014; DE-turned-FB Erik Lorig was a comp pick in 2014
Tampa Bay last received a compensatory pick in 2011, using it to select Idaho tight end Daniel Hardy. Hardy did not make the team, but a comp pick the year before produced Erik Lorig, who has forged a solid NFL career. Lorig was drafted out of Stanford as a defensive end but was converted to offense during his rookie season. He eventually developed into the Buccaneers' starting fullback and earlier this month was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an unrestricted free agent.
The compensatory system was introduced with the first Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1993 and it first returned picks to teams the following year. Over the 21 years of the system so far, the Buccaneers have received 18 compensatory picks; Baltimore heads that list with 41 total selections while Cleveland is at the bottom with just six. The Buccaneers have only once received a compensatory pick after the third round, using it to draft linebacker Alshermond Singleton in 1997. A strong special teams player throughout his six years with the Buccaneers, Singleton also started at strongside linebacker for the 2002 Super Bowl Championship squad.
The addition of the compensatory picks finalizes the 2014 draft order. The Bucs already knew they would be picking at #7 overall in the first round, #38 overall in the second round and #69 overall in the third round. Now they know that their fifth-round pick is #143 and their seventh-round selection is #221.