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Next Year’s Compensatory Draft Picks Can Be Traded Now!

As we set forth previously, the 2017 Green Bay Packers have enormous holes in their roster due to the many veterans who have departed since the end of last season. With the free agent market now reduced mostly to marginal players, the eight draft choices the Packers currently have in the upcoming draft can’t begin to fill all of the team’s roster gaps.

We’ve also reported that Green Bay is in store for up to four compensatory draft choices in the 2018 draft, in addition to its standard seven picks. That will help greatly – mostly in 2019 and 2020 as these players develop – but the Packers have more immediate concerns. Can anything be done to make the 2017 team a Super Bowl contender?

We know that this year, for the first time, compensatory draft picks can be traded. This obviously applies to the compensatory picks announced in January, but the Packers got little trade bait out of that deal: one fifth-round compensatory pick. This led a Total Packers commenter to wonder if those 2018 future compensatory picks could be traded right now.

I would have thought not, because we won’t even be sure until early next year just how many such picks, or in what rounds, Green Bay will be awarded. Another commenter, however, found some interesting information online. The Arizona Cardinals, in a similar pickle to Green Bay, just lost seven players in free agency, including two of the top 13 free agent signings. Like the Packers, they will likely get four compensatory draft picks in 2018.

Coach Bruce Arians told the press last week that the compensatory picks they’ll get in 2018 can be used to trade up in this year’s draft. “It could be a really fun draft,” Arians said. Assuming Arians is correct, then Green Bay does have the option of using some of their expected compensatory picks in 2018 to either trade up or acquire additional draft choices, THIS YEAR!

Ted Thompson’s Opportunity

Many would agree that the Packers need more and/or higher draft selections right now, not in the future. In allowing compensatory draft choices to be traded for the first time this year – and this apparently includes the four picks the Packers are likely to be awarded early next year – the league has bestowed a gift of enormous value to the Packers. By the way, in most cases, such trading doesn’t occur now, but takes place while the draft is underway.

In view of all of the team’s players who have departed in the past three months, this strategy could save the day for the 2017 Packers. The big question: will ultra-conservative general manager Ted Thompson resort to such a bodacious strategy?

It will be interesting to compare the draft days’ dealings of the Arizona Cardinals with those of the Packers. In stark contrast to Ted Thompson, the Cards’ general manager Steve Keim and coach Arians are known as wheeler dealers – a term that few would associate with Green Bay’s general manager.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Kato April 3, 2017

    Hah. Is this joke? TT is more likely to announce he is getting married.

    1. icebowl April 3, 2017

      That ^^^^

  2. icebowl April 3, 2017

    Like TT is gonna do anything that radical…
    The guy moves in slough years….

    Meanwhile AP is reportedly speaking w Belecheat and the Patsies……..

    1. icebowl April 3, 2017

      * sloth

  3. MJ April 3, 2017

    Hey, are Arians’ words the sole source for this post? Because it’s easy to point out that it’s unreasonable to trade something that you don’t know if you’ll have. We can speculate about what those picks will be, but that depends on how much playing time the guys we lost get (among other factors in the mystery equation) and that of course cannot possibly be known. So, unless we have Ted’s “silver… something”, we cannot know for sure what picks we will have, let alone convince someone to trade for those.

    1. Howard April 3, 2017

      MJ, I am the comment #1 and #2 referenced in the article. At least one trade was made last year that included a compensatory pick for this year without the pick being known at the time.

      PLease see attached article that describes how it was constructed.


    2. Howard April 3, 2017

      Please also see attached. It is very clear you can trade the picks with the backup of if you don’t receive the pick you have to give up one of your regular picks as part of the trade language.

      Now Ted needs to pull the trigger and get it done.


      1. MJ April 4, 2017

        Thanks for the references, Howard! And keep up the good contributions you make to this site. Heck, you could reasonably claim to be in their payroll, for the good opinions and content you add.

        Back to the topic: One reference says the following.
        “However, it will be interesting to see how the league plans on keeping this straight. Can a team trade their 2017 4th round compensatory pick if they have no 2017 5th round pick? What would be the protocol for a situation like that”.
        An interesting wrinkle could be that, if you end up not receiving an n-round comp pick, and you do not have a (n+1)-round pick that year, then you should give up the closest (n-i)-round pick you have. That would basically ensure that no team would want to play dumb and trade more than they would really have.

        So, some details may need to be worked out, but looks to be on track to become a regular occurrence. Let’s hope Ted and his “silver… something” evaluate that and make good moves to strengthen our 2017 season!

  4. Empacador April 3, 2017

    “…mostly in 2019 and 2020 as these players develop” I think you meant to say “if” these players develop.

  5. Cheese April 4, 2017

    If this draft is anything like TT’s last six, or however many, then I have zero interest in paying attention. Spoiler alert- I already have zero interest. Just more of the same.

  6. Lane April 5, 2017

    Even if it isn’t allowed, it is….think outside the box. If the team predicts they’ll get a 3,4,5,6 as comps, (made up, doesn’t matter) they could trade their original 3,4,5,6 in 2018 and still have their comp picks next year. Thus using their “comps” to trade this year.