In a move that was totally expected, the Buffalo Bills will not receive any compensatory draft picks in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. The 32 compensatory choices for the draft were awarded to 15 teams, and the Bills were among the teams to be shut out of receiving a compensatory pick after the Bills gained seven well-paid free agents during the offseason while losing five such free agents.
The Bills benefited from savvy signings of safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and placekicker Stephen Hauschka, who exceeded expectations in their first seasons in Western New York. Buffalo also signed fullback Patrick DiMarco, wide receiver Andre Holmes, guard Vladimir Ducasse, and defensive end Ryan Davis to factor into the compensatory draft pick formula.
On the flip side, the Bills lost cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, and linebackers Zach Brown and Lerentee McCray. Buffalo could have recouped a compensatory pick if the team released three of the seven free agents, but with the team’s hot start to the season, management prioritized making a push for the playoffs over receiving a compensatory pick.
According to the NFL, “compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents than they acquire. The number of picks a team can receive equals the net loss of compensatory free agents, up to a maximum of four.” The compensatory free agents are determined by a formula that factors in salary, playing time and postseason honors. Not every free agent lost or signed is covered by the formula.
Compensatory picks occur between the third and seventh rounds of the draft.