2020 Compensatory Picks Update For The Broncos

After a one year absence from being regular recipients of compensatory picks, the Broncos are expected once again to receive comp picks that will bolster their draft capital in 2020. This article will take a brief look at what those expectations are.

Here is what the compensatory pick cancellation chart for the Broncos looks like:

Qualifying UFAs Lost: 6Qualifying UFAs Gained: 3
Bradley Roby4$10,000,000109Ja’Wuan James3$12,750,00067
Matt Paradis4$8,500,000166Kareem Jackson4$11,000,00098
Billy Turner5$7,000,000239Bryce Callahan5$7,000,000245
Shaq Barrett6$4,000,000414 
Max Garcia7$2,000,000689 
Tramaine Brock7$1,325,000840 
Non-Qualifying UFAs LostNon-Qualifying UFAs Gained
Brandon Marshall$955,000974 

This year, the Broncos elected to cancel out their three highest compensatory free agent losses (Roby, Paradis and Turner) with three very similarly valued signings (James, Jackson and Callahan). Clearly, the Broncos believe that the benefit having those veteran players now will outweigh the cost of losing out on 4th and 5th round comp picks a year later.

Since the Broncos limited their CFA signings to those three players, they remain eligible for lower comp picks due to how many desirable players they had on expiring contracts. With a total of six (perhaps seven) CFAs lost to three gained, Denver will be eligible for three or four comp picks.

However, only two of those comp picks should be considered with high confidence. Those are the 6th rounder for Barrett, and the 7th rounder for Garcia. Brock should qualify for the formula, and as it stands right now he would award the 32nd and last comp pick, putting the Broncos in line for their third potential Mr. Irrelevant pick awarded. But being right on that 32 pick limit, there is a good chance that the Broncos may not get that pick due to getting pushed out of the 32 pick limit. The biggest threat, as I document here, is that there will be multiple teams that may have an interest in cutting players in order to free up higher valued comp picks. All it takes is potentially one of those cuts to happen to deny Denver more than one 7th rounder.

Marshall, meanwhile, may not have signed for enough to qualify for the compensatory formula, and even if he did, he almost certainly would not make the 32 pick limit. Although Marshall’s deal for crossing over to the dark side is for a base of $1.1 million, $145,000 of that is in a workout bonus, which does not count in the compensatory formula. That amount is likely to be enough to disqualify Marshall, unless he plays a high number of snaps for the Broncos.

And on that note, I have to say that I’m quite surprised by how often my estimations on what Denver’s departing CFAs would get elsewhere were misguided. On the player positive side, I was stunned that the Packers gave Turner $7 million APY, and I also did not think Garcia would be healthy enough to warrant any comp pick consideration. On the player negative side, I thought Paradis would get more than $9 million APY, and I dissented from the Broncos’ unwillingness to better that offer. I am also surprised that Shane Ray did not become a compensatory free agent, as I figured he’d sign a deal similar to Barrett’s near the start of the new league year.

Given what has been documented above, if these results hold, then the Broncos’ 2020 draft capital would look as follows:

  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd (from Pittsburgh – Devin Bush trade up)
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th (from Washington – for Case Keenum; Denver’s 7th rounder was swapped for this pick)
  • 6th (may be sent to Washington if Su’a Cravens is on the Broncos’ roster for a 2019 playoff game)
  • 6th (compensatory – Shaq Barrett)
  • 7th (compensatory – Max Garcia)
  • 7th (compensatory – Tramaine Brock; might not be awarded due to missing the 32 pick limit)