September 25, 2023

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The Free Agency Gamble.

2 min read

We already know that signing big name free agents are a risky business. Players that performed elsewhere normally come with a high price tag and, as Bucs fans have seen, no guarantee of success. Splash signings have arrived in Tampa and have been at best disappointing.

Equally, we all know the NFL draft is a crapshoot. Players bust all the time, not just in pewter, but around the league.

A further gamble is not something that the team or fans have had a reason to pay attention to. These are the NFL compensatory draft picks. The formula for how these are handed out and exactly what pick is assigned is kept under wraps by the NFL. Many online contributors have sought to outline the process and have been fairly accurate.

In the briefest of overviews, I will attempt to explain it. A team must lose higher value players in FA than they gain. These players must be fully eligible and actual UFAs. Contract value and playing time are calculated as well as postseason appearances and any awards received.

So whilst losing Kwon Alexander and Adam Humphries hurt, and hurt bad, the fact that they got a huge payday elsewhere is a good thing. It put the Bucs in a position to be in consideration for these comp picks. Previously only 18 free agent departures were valued highly enough since this came into effect in 1993. The highest value of these picks is at the end of the 3rd round with the lowest at the end of the 7th.

So, more draft picks are potentially good, right?

Whilst Licht and Co. are signing new free agents for 1-year prove it deals, they are still in contention for a comp pick. The loss of Alexander, Humphries, and Fitzpatrick to Free Agency has given the Bucs three players who have the potential to turn into comp picks.

But this is the gamble. Do fans want to see proven veteran players replace lost free agents or would they rather take the chance with comp picks in the draft?

Tune in today on #BucsLifeNews at 4.00pm EST to The BritBuc Invasion for more in-depth on this topic and share your opinion live.