Patriots receive extra compensatory pick, reportedly due to correction in NFL’s formula

Initially, the Patriots were only given two compensatory picks.

The Patriots were awarded another compensatory pick by the NFL. AP Photo/Adam Hunger

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Fans and analysts of the New England Patriots were initially surprised to learn the team would only receive two compensatory draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Over the weekend, however, the NFL released its full draft order, and the Patriots were listed with three picks — No. 96 overall (round 3), No. 139 (round 4), and No. 177 (round 5).

The original list did not include the fifth-round pick.

The league’s office told MassLive the inclusion of the latest compensatory pick “resulted from a correction by the Management Council to the calculation of average yearly compensation.”

Compensatory picks are awarded to teams who lost high-impact free agents. The order is determined by a formula designed by the league. The picks can range from the third to seventh rounds and factor in “average salary per year, snap count, and postseason awards of departed free agents.” Per the NFL, “to qualify for compensatory picks, teams must end up with more qualifying free agents lost than gained in a particular year.”


The Patriots expected to receive compensatory picks for Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, and Kyle Van Noy. Instead, the addition of Damiere Byrd initially cost them their third selection.

The Patriots now have 10 picks.

Round 1, No. 15 overall

Round 2, No. 46

Round 3, No. 96 (compensatory)

Round 4, No. 120th

Round 4, No. 122 (via Texans)

Round 4, No. 139 (compensatory)

Round 5, No. 177 (new compensatory)

Round 6, No. 188 (via Texans)

Round 6, No. 197

Round 7, No. 242

The NFL Draft begins on April 29.

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