Update from prior projection – I forgot that Isaac Sopoaga was an UFA last year. I expect the NFL to include him in their compensatory pick calculations like they did Drew Stanton last year who was traded by the Jets after being signed by them as an UFA. Since Sopoaga will count as a lost free agent for the 49ers, he will/should count as a free agent signed for the Patriots. You can see on the NFL.Com website that Stanton is listed as being acquired by the Colts. Another precedent is Keary Colbert who was traded from the Broncos to the SeahawksI claim no credit for the basis behind this work, as I did nothing original. I merely used AdamJT13’s posted guidelines as best as I could. You can find his work at http://adamjt13.blogspot.com/2010/03/projecting-2010-compensatory-nfl-draft.html. Adamjt13 wrote this about traded players – “That might not seem fair in some cases, but the player always counts against the team that ends up with him. Otherwise, a team could end up with the player AND a comp pick, which would be even more unfair”. If you are unfamiliar with his work, the basics that affect comp picks are:

1. Players that are cut or not tendered as RFAs and ERFAs are not counted.

2. Players earning low minimum salaries do not count.

3. Each player signed cancels out one player lost.

4. The round of the pick awarded is primarily determined by the annual value of the contract signed. Signed players cancel out lost players with equal contracts, then lower contracts, before canceling out higher contracts.

Will the contracts/production/offseason honors of Danny Amendola (5 year, $31 million), Sopaga (3 years, 9 million) and Will Svitek (1 year, $840,000) outweigh the contracts/production/offseason honors of Wes Welker (2 years, $12 million, Danny Woodhead (2 years, $4 million), Donald Thomas (4 years, 14 million) and Patrick Chung (3 years, $10 million)? Amendola offsets Welker while Svitek offsets Woodhead and Sopoaga offsets Donald Thomas. Since the Patriots lost more qualifying UFAs (four) than they have acquired (three), I project that they will get one compensatory pick. The one compensatory picks will most likely be a sixth-rounder because in 2013 contracts (Jason Allen, Jason Jones, Cory Redding) similar to Patrick Chung received 6th round picks.