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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Pick Up Fifth- and Seventh-Round Compensatory Picks

The Buccaneers now possess nine picks in the 2023 draft after being awarded a pair of compensatory picks based on net losses in free agency a year ago


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have a few more assets to work with when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around in April.

On Thursday, the NFL released a list of 37 compensatory picks that have been awarded in 2023, and the Buccaneers were among the 16 teams who came away with some extra draft capital. Tampa Bay received the 41st pick in the fifth round, number 175 overall, and the 35th pick in the seventh round, number 252 overall.

Compensatory picks, which were introduced with the original collective bargaining agreement in 1993 and were first awarded in 1994, are given to teams that lost more or better "compensatory free agents" (CFAs) than it acquired in the previous offseason. In Tampa Bay's case, the Buccaneers lost three players who qualified as CFAs – guard Alex Cappa, tight end O.J. Howard and safety Jordan Whitehead – and signed one, wide receiver Russell Gage.

The Buccaneers received one compensatory pick last year, number 261 overall, which it eventually used in a trade to move up and select tight end Ko Kieft. Overall, Tampa Bay has received 24 compensatory picks since 1994, which is tied for the 20th most in the league.

The net loss of two qualifying free agents put the Bucs in line for two compensatory pick and the specific placement of those picks in the draft order was the result of a complicated league formula that takes salary, playing time and postseason honors into account.

The Buccaneers now have nine total picks in the 2023 draft, including their own in the first three rounds and in Rounds Five and Six. They do not have a fourth-round pick thanks to the trade for a fifth-round pick in last year's draft to select cornerback Zyon McCollum. They picked up the Indianapolis Colts' sixth-round pick as part of the trade of linebacker Grant Stuard but sent their seventh-rounder back in that same deal. They do have another seventh-rounder, which they got from the New York Jets way back in the 2020 season when they traded for defensive lineman Steve McLendon.

Of the 16 teams receiving compensatory picks this year, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers lead the way with four each, with three of the 49ers' picks falling after the third round. Arizona and Dallas landed three each. Nine teams received picks at the end of the third round, starting with the Detroit Lions at number 97 and the New Orleans Saints at number 98. The Baltimore Ravens did not receive any compensatory picks this year, which is rare, but since the introduction of the system continue to lead the NFL with 55 such selections. Dallas is second with 52.

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