Now that we've passed May 12, there is a chance we could see more action on the veteran free agent market.
As NFL director of communications Randall Liu pointed out Wednesday, any unrestricted free agent who did not receive a tender from an old club on or prior to yesterday, May 12, can now sign with no effect on a new team's position in the compensatory draft pick formula.
The compensatory draft pick model is used to soften the blow for teams that lose players in free agency. For example, the Detroit Lions are likely to get a third-round pick for losing Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins. Compensatory picks can range from third to seventh rounders and are not tradable.
Free agent signings prior to May 12 are formulated and deducted from the compensatory formula -- i.e. had the Lions signed another highly paid player to replace Suh they would have lost that pick.
The Baltimore Ravens under Ozzie Newsome are famous for hoarding compensatory picks to keep their team well stocked with talent. Many teams will wait until after the deadline before bringing in a veteran who may not even make their eventual 53-man roster.
Prior to 2015, the key date had been June 1, but the NFL moved up the timeline to allow veterans a better opportunity to work out with new teammates during the offseason.
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