The 2019 NFL draft was the first time in many years that the Redskins were able to generate compensatory picks. They received 4 comp picks this year, which was a stark contrast with having only generated 12 in the prior 24-year period. Compared to successful franchises like the Ravens (49), Packers (42), and Patriots (35), the Redskins had been woefully inept players in the comp pick market since the inception of the compensatory pick framework in 1994.
It’s too soon to say for certain - their first snap has yet to be played - but the Redskins appear to have taken great advantage of their four comp picks this year, actually parlaying them into 5 picks and the following players: Bryce Love, Wes Martin, Cole Holcomb, Kelvin Harmon, and Jordan Brailford. That’s a significant haul, and one that I would certainly like to see the Redskins be able to replicate each year into the future.
Looking at the 2020 Draft
While not set in stone, we already have a fairly good idea of where the Redskins will be in the 2020 draft, thanks to the hard work of overthecap.com. While Preston Smith, Jamison Crowder, Ty Nsehke, and Haha Clinton-Dix all signed contracts with other teams that would have generated comp pick capital for the Redskins, the free agent signings of Landon Collins, Ereck Flowers, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie by the Redskins cancelled out three of our possible comp picks.
At this point, only the likely 4th rounder, generated by Crowder, remains. If either Flowers or DRC are cut before week 10 of the 2019 season, we could potentially recoup a 6th or 7th round comp pick (or two, if they are both cut). Generating even a single pick would be a marked improvement upon the Redskins’ prior 25 years, though it would certainly be a pleasant surprise to get an additional pick or two.
What about 2021?
It’s impossible to know what free agents the Redskins might sign after the 2019 season, but it’s fairly easy for us to examine which current Redskins could potentially end up being free agents after the season and generating comp pick capital.
The simplest place to start is looking at those players, drafted in 2016, who will be rolling off their rookie contract. Unfortunately, only two players from that draft - Josh Doctson and Matt Ioannidis - remain with the team. Ion was recently signed to a multi-year extension, taking him off the table for this exercise. Unsurprisingly, the Redskins passed on Doctson’s fifth year option, and short of a miraculous season, he is very likely to be allowed to walk in free agency next year.
Other notable Redskins who will be free agents include Mason Foster, Chris Thompson, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, and Tony Bergstrom. So, in total, the Redskins are likely to have 6 players who could generate comp pick capital for them in 2021.
Though the exact formula for calculating comp pick value hasn’t been revealed, it’s largely based on the average annual value (AAV) of the contract the leaving player signs, combined with an adjustment for playing time.
If we assume that each of these players does, indeed, end up leaving, and that they are able to sign a contract in the range (or slightly above) the value of their current contract, the likely comp pick capital they would generate is outlined below:
- Case Keenum - ($3.5M AAV) - 6th Rounder (I think this is actually a significant undervaluation of Keenum if he is able to show anything at all this year. It would likely take an AAV of $7M+ to push his value into the 5th round though.)
- Mason Foster - ($4.25M AAV) - 6th Rounder (This year is an incredibly important one for Mason going forward).
- Chris Thompson - ($3.9M AAV) - 6th Rounder (It remains to be seen whether there will be any tread left on the oft injured 3rd down back’s tires after 2019).
- Colt McCoy - ($3.375M AAV) - 7th Rounder
- Tony Bergstrom - ($805k AAV) - At this range, Bergstrom would not have a salary high enough to generate even a 7th rounder.
- Josh Doctson - (????) - Doctson really is an x-factor, and any comp pick capital he could potentially generate will almost entirely be based on his 2019 performance. My guess though, would be that he will generate a contract in the 7th (or perhaps 6th) round comp range.
It goes without saying that there are no Kirk Cousins, Preston Smiths, or even Jamison Crowders - players who would generate a third or fourth round pick - in this group (unless Keenum has a spectacular year). However, there’s a sufficient number of players likely leaving the team that it’s not unreasonable to expect the possibility of 3 to 4 picks in the 6th-7th round range. And those picks, as evidenced by the selections of Harmon, Jimmy Moreland, and Brailford,in the 6th round or later are all entirely capable of bringing value to the team if they are used wisely.
Which of these players would you least like to see leave in 2020?
This poll is closed
I’d be content to see them all leave.