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Baltimore Ravens win big in compensatory lottery

No one plays the compensatory picks market like Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

Compensatory Picks


The NFL awarded 32 compensatory picks in the 2014 NFL Draft to 13 teams. Which two teams got the most picks? **More...**

As it turns out, there was a method to Newsome's madness when he watched four different teams sign away the likes of Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed and Cary Williams last offseason.

No team was awarded more compensatory picks in the 2014 NFL Draft than the Ravens. Because of those free agents lost, Newsome will receive a third-round pick (99th overall), two in the fourth (134th and 138th overall), and one in the fifth (175th overall).

Since the NFL began awarding compensatory picks in 1994, the Ravens have received more (41) than any other NFL franchise.

The picks are determined by a mysterious formula that factors in salary, playing time, postseason honors and whether a team has lost more free agents than they have signed.

Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said at the Senior Bowl in January that the Ravens guard their compensatory pick secrets "like Coke's formula," according to The Baltimore Sun.

While other organizations overpaid for the Ravens' Super Bowl winners, Newsome signed players who were either released (Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Michael Huff) or still on the market after June 1 (Daryl Smith).

The same formula is at work this year, with Steve Smith plucked off the Panthers' discard pile.

The Ravens figure to see that approach pay off again next year after losing Arthur Jones, Michael Oher, Corey Graham and James Ihedigbo over the past two weeks.

As the Seahawks proved en route to winning Super Bowl XLVIII, collecting, developing and underpaying mid- to late-round draft picks offers a major competitive advantage.

It's no coincidence that Newsome and Seattle general manager John Schneider are two of the best in business.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" broke down all the latest news at the NFL Annual Meeting.

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