CBA changes, comp picks, and new Saints free agent strategy? (1 Viewer)

WxM

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Most Saints fans know our front office's reputation. We historically value retaining our own guys and are aggressive in bringing in key guys from outside. As a result, we never, ever, ever get any compensatory picks. However, circumstances appear to be changing.

The usual salary cap tightness combined with the unusually high number of core players whose (mostly rookie) deals expire this year and next, limits the Saints' ability to do either of the things listed above. We could always work some more Loomis magic and sign a couple of key guys that weren't cut. At this point I think that's far less likely than it usually is, though. Signing many big money guys now will quite possibly jeopardize our ability to retain crucial pieces next year.

So even though the Saints don't usually care about compensatory picks, if they're going to be financially restrained in who they can acquire and retain, they may as well be smart about it and maximize their return on investment. To that end, there are some key changes to the CBA this year that will make playing the game easier for the Saints, assuming they want to.

Nick (not our Nick) at Over The Cap has the rundown:

"UFAs must be valued within the top 35% instead of the top 50% to qualify as compensatory free agents (CFAs).
In my opinion, this will be by far the most consequential change to the compensatory formula. This will result in far few players becoming CFAs due to a low Average Per Year (APY) or low snap counts. If this 35% rule was applied to the 2020 comp picks, contracts would have needed to have an APY of about $2.3 million (instead of about $1 million for the 50% threshold). Therefore, for 2021 I would guess that the APY cutoff qualification would be something around $2.5 million, give or take some range in both directions for snap count adjustments. That will give teams much more flexibility in signing UFAs without the risk of them becoming CFAs that would otherwise cancel out their higher valued CFAs lost."

There are other rule changes worth mentioning, but this is the big one. To oversimplify, the pool of players that a team can pick up without risking their comp picks is increasing. No longer will teams playing the game be limited to cut players and those who declined options. They will also be able to sign any breakout guys coming off deals who received the veteran salary benefit, as well as those who are slated to make about $2.5 million a year (before, you couldn't go much over the minimum).

So if the Saints want to get all the draft picks coming to them, they can sign cut/declined guys like Malcolm Jenkins, or they can pick up breakout veterans who played on a cheap deal last year for any price, or they can spend a couple million each on any free agents without running the risk of losing out.

I don't think the Saints suddenly value comp picks, but I do think their financial situation is going to limit their spending. And if they're going to limit their spending, they may as well be mindful of these rules so they can actually get picks for once.

We'll see if they do. I think they will.

And maybe, just maybe, Loomis will once again be ultra aggressive in trading up with the knowledge that he'll have some picks coming next year to replenish what he might trade away. ;)
 
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Whodat GT

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The Saints are in excellent shape to receive several comp picks. They´ll get a third rounder for sure.
They lost Bridgewater (1st round), Apple (1st round), Bell (2nd round), A.J. Klein (5th round), and Kirkwood (UDFA).
They lost 5 players and brought in 4, so far. Of those four players, neither Burton nor Nichols will count against the formula because Burton won´t make much money and Nichols comes from the XFL. I also don´t think that Jenkins will count as an adequate replacement for Von Bell, since he was released during the FA period, he wasn´t scheduled to become a free agent. IMO, the only player that counts against the Saints is Sanders.
 
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WxM

WxM

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The Saints are in excellent shape to receive several comp picks. They´ll get a third rounder for sure.
They lost Bridgewater (1st round), Apple (1st round), Bell (2nd round), A.J. Klein (5th round), and Kirkwood (UDFA).
They lost 5 players and brought in 4, so far. Of those four players, neither Burton nor Nichols will count against the formula because Burton won´t make much money and Nichols comes from the XFL. I also don´t think that Jenkins will count as an adequate replacement for Von Bell, since he was released during the FA period, he wasn´t scheduled to become a free agent. IMO, the only player that counts against the Saints is Sanders.
This is generally correct. The players' initial draft status is irrelevant. The main factor is the contract value per year. Games played and some postseason factors can play a small role.

Currently we are slated to receive a third round pick and two sixth round picks in next year's draft.
 
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baarbogast

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Right now, we have a 3rd and 2 6ths. That gives us 10 picks next year, not sure if it is considered a good draft
 

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