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Washington won’t be receiving compensatory picks in 2024

Better luck next year!

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, Washington has been one of the worst teams in the league at collecting compensatory draft picks, so it was a pleasant surprise when - for the first time since 2019 - Washington generated two compensatory picks for the 2023 draft last year.

The comp pick capital for those two picks was gained by letting Brandon Scherff and Tim Settle walk in free agency for contracts that were sufficiently large - $16.5M and $4.5M APY, respectively - that they met the compensatory pick cut off threshold, while at the same time passing on signing any free agents who would have cancelled them out.

This offseason, however, Washington signed four free agents who counted against the comp pick formula, Jacoby Brissett, Nick Gates, Andrew Wylie, and Cody Barton, while only parting ways with two free agents who generated comp pick capital: Taylor Heinicke and Cole Holcomb.

This information is all available per, which is the gold standard resource for these computations at this point.

Washington’s History with Comp Picks

Historically, Washington has been one of the worst teams in the league at accumulating compensatory picks. From 1994, when the compensatory pick process was instituted, to 2018, Washington had the second-fewest comp picks in the league, 12 (the Saints only had 10). In 2019, Washington had an amazing 4 comp picks (Cousins, Murphy, Grant, Paul), with one in 2020 (Crowder), and none in 2021 or 2022. As mentioned above, they generated two last year.

In isolation that number, 19 comp picks in 29 years may not mean much, but contrast it with the league-leading Baltimore Ravens, and the gulf is stark. In the same timeframe, the Ravens have accumulated 56 compensatory picks, or 37 more than Washington. That’s over one more draft pick per year, for nearly 30 years.

As Eric DeCosta, the Ravens’ GM says, the draft is about having more lottery tickets, which they’ve reliably done year after year. The Ravens are projected to have one compensatory pick in 2024.

Comp Pick Superlatives

Each team has the opportunity to collect up to 4 compensatory picks in this fashion for each draft - the compensatory picks for developing minority hires use a separate mechanism - and this year, five teams appear poised to hit that mark: the Jaguars, Packers, Rams, Eagles, and the 49ers. Both the Jaguars and Rams also generated four compensatory picks in the 2023 draft, meaning that over two drafts, they will have essentially added an additional draft (8 picks) in Day 3 picks.

Within the NFC East, the Cowboys are in line for two comp picks, and the Giants, like Washington, will have no extra picks next year.

Limited Ammunition this Year

Earlier in the offseason, I examined which potential free agents might generate comp pick capital, and came up with the following list:

  • Daron Payne - Payne would have been the top free agent signing in the league if he had left the team this offseason, and would have generated a third round comp pick. The team locked him up to a long term deal.
  • Cole Holcomb - Generated comp pick capital.
  • Taylor Heinicke - Generated comp pick capital.
  • Wes Schweitzer - Was signed to too small a contract ($2.5M) to generate comp pick capital.
  • Jeremy Reaves - Was re-signed by Washington, though his contract likely would have been right on the cutoff if he had left.

With so few top free agents leaving, and significant roster holes that needing filling in free agency, there was never a high likelihood that Washington was going to be generating compensatory picks in 2024.

NFL: Washington Commanders at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Looking Forward

Taking a look at Washington’s roster, who might generate comp pick capital for them next offseason? The Commanders have a ton of players potentially entering free agency next year, several of whom could be sought after throughout the league. Players on that list include:

  • Curtis Samuel
  • Kendall Fuller
  • Chase Young
  • Montez Sweat
  • Jacoby Brissett
  • Cody Barton
  • Jeremy Reaves
  • Antonio Gibson
  • Kamren Curl
  • Efe Obada
  • James Smith-Williams

I fully expect that several of the players on that list will be re-signed by Washington next offseason, if not sooner, but a number of those players will surely be allowed to walk as well. At this point, I would be pretty surprised if the Commanders didn’t generate at least a couple of compensatory picks in the 2025 draft.

Washington’s 2024 Picks

As it currently stands, Washington has 7 picks in the 2024 draft:

Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, and Round 7.


How many comp picks would you like to see Washington generate in an average year?

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  • 28%
    (181 votes)
  • 48%
    (307 votes)
  • 10%
    (69 votes)
  • 5%
    (32 votes)
  • 7%
    (46 votes)
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