With the NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, the league is also closing the book on its 2023 free agency period — at least in a way. The compensation window, after all, is now closed.
This means that any unrestricted free agents signed or lost moving forward will no longer be counting towards the formula used to determine which teams will earn extra selections in next year’s draft. Naturally, this means that some open market movement might be on the horizon soon.
From a New England Patriots perspective, this means that their remaining unsigned free agents might get some opportunities elsewhere. These players, who are left unaccounted for since the market initially opened in mid-March are as follows:
- OT Marcus Cannon: Profile | Status: TBD
- P Michael Palardy: Profile | Status: TBD
- OT Isaiah Wynn: Profile | Status: TBD
If those three, or indeed any unrestricted free agents, are signed away by another team beginning today, they will no longer factor into the compensatory process in the Patriots’ favor. The same is true for New England itself picking up free agents from the market in the coming hours or days.
When it comes to the Patriots themselves, however, no immediate movement should be expected. The team currently has a full roster after drafting 12 players last week and then adding three more through rookie free agency.
As for the three players listed above, only one appears to be a realistic candidate to see some interest: former first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn. While his five-year tenure in New England was impacted by several injuries — he was on the game-day roster for the final week of the season only once — he has shown that he can hold his own as a starter-level tackle in this league and at 27 is still relatively young.
But even if Wynn had signed a qualifying deal elsewhere before Monday’s deadline, he would not have impacted the Patriots’ compensatory draft picks formula too much. The team, after all, is too deep in the red:
Compensatory selections will not get announced by the NFL until next February, and are dependent on a secret formula that also puts factors such as playing time in consideration. Nonetheless, the Patriots’ eventual haul is not expected to look a lot different than the projection above: they will not earn any extra draft capital in 2024.
This means that their capital for next year will look like this, barring any trades being made:
- Round 1
- Round 2
- Round 3
- Round 4
- Round 5
- Round 6
- Round 6 (via Las Vegas)
- Round 7 (via Chicago)
There has been some late-round movement through the N’Keal Harry and Justin Herron trades, but those did not tip the scales all too much. At the moment, the Patriots are scheduled to mostly pick in their own slots next spring.
Obviously, a lot can still change over the next 12 months. That said, it seems like a certainty that the compensatory draft picks formula will not have any impact on New England’s future draft picks portfolio.