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As expected, Buffalo Bills don’t earn compensatory picks in 2021

No big free-agent losses.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills won’t be earning any compensatory picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the league announced today. That does not come as a surprise as the Bills gained more free agents than they lost a year ago.

Teams earn compensatory picks when a player’s contract expires and they sign a new contract with a new team. If a player is released, he does not count in the compensatory formula. Then, it’s based on the size of the contract that player signs. The larger the contract, the higher the comp pick. Other factors like playing time also make their way into the formula. The comp picks are then added to the end of each round and can be traded like regular picks.

The top three compensatory picks go to teams who lost QBs to big contracts in 2020; Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers, and Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints.

Buffalo only lost three qualifying free agents; DE Shaq Lawson was worth a fourth-round selection, DT Jordan Phillips was worth a fifth-round selection, and CB Kevin Johnson was worth a sixth-round selection (per Over the Cap).

The Bills added six qualifying free agents, negating their shot at those picks, though. DE Mario Addison was worth a fourth rounder, DT Vernon Butler was worth a fifth rounder, DL Quinton Jefferson was a fifth rounder, LB A.J. Klein was a sixth rounder, RT Daryl Williams counted as a sixth rounder, and LB Tyler Matakevich was a sixth rounder.

The Carolina Panthers did receive two sixth-round picks, potentially for Butler and/or Williams. None of the other Bills’ signees were the reason for a comp pick. The formula and player offsets are kept private.

The 2021 NFL Draft order is officially set.