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Setting The Record Straight On Moss Compensation

One of the running rumors/theories out there regarding the Moss trade, is that the Vikings could receive up to a third round compensation pick from the NFL if he is allowed to leave via free agency, which would make the Moss trade even more of a boon for the Vikings than it already appears to be.

Our very own reader, wtfvikesfan, has been diligently looking into the matter, convinced that the Vikings could indeed get a third round pick.  While this is incorrect, it is hard to know any better when the “real media” ignores what is already known.

For example, Kevin Seifert of ESPN was asked the question in his weekly mailbag and gave the following answer:

“That’s a very interesting point and one we did not get to last week. It’s very difficult to predict compensatory draft picks, which the NFL awards to teams based on a secret formula of free agency gains and losses. It’ll depend on many factors, including Moss’ full 2010 production and whether the Vikings sign any free agents themselves, but it’s certainly possible that a third-rounder could be the net result.

Even if it’s a fourth-rounder, the Vikings would have in essence moved down one round to rent Moss for 13 games. I think they would find that a pretty reasonable cost.”

Seifert is correct in that there is a secret formula which is used to determine how these picks are divided up and many factors such as salary are taken into account.  However, there is one select group of players that cannot warrant a team being granted anything higher than a fifth round pick.

Those players are the ones who have played 10 years or more in the league, and Randy Moss is in that group.

When all-pro Alan Faneca was allowed to leave the Steelers, the team and its fans thought they would be getting a third round pick as compensation.  The little known “10 year rule” caught everyone by surprise, however, and Faneca’s departure resulted in the Steelers getting only a fifth round pick as compensation.

Thankfully, the Steelers made the mistake already, so we have no reason to get our hopes up for a third round pick.  But a fifth round pick would still be a possibility if the Vikings choose to let Moss walk next year.

(UPDATE:  I dug up a PFT article from when the Faneca ordeal occured.  This article quotes ESPN’s John Clayton explaining that the “fifth rounder cap” rule applies to players of 30 years of age or older.  Either way, Randy Moss fits the bill as a player that would warrant only a fifth rounder as compensation.

In Mike Florio’s Saturday “Mail Bag” even he forgot about his own article in regards to compensatory picks.  He says that the Patriots could have recieved a third rounder for letting Moss leave in free agency instead of in a trade.  I have asked him to comment, but have not heard back.  Florio does make a good point, however, in that the compensatory process may or may not cease to exist or be altered in some way depending the ongoing Collective Bargaining process.

Clear as mud?)


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3 Responses to “Setting The Record Straight On Moss Compensation”

  1. c.carterhof says:

    When all-pro Alan Faneca was allowed to leave the Steelers, he was wide.
    He has since been put on a strict diet and exercize regimen. And is not as wide.

  2. Adam Warwas says:

    oops, good catch, lol 🙂

  3. […] one is really sure what the formula for compensatory pick is but, as Adam Warwas of Vikings Gab points out, there is a “fifth round cap” rule that stipulates that teams who lose a player who is […]

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