The Cardinals lost some key players in free agency in the spring of 2017, but Friday, they received partial payback.
The Cards were awarded three compensatory draft picks for April’s draft, earning an extra third-, fourth-and seventh-round pick. The extra third-round pick, given after defensive lineman Calais Campbell signed his mega-deal with the Jaguars and proceeded to have an all-pro season, is the highest comp pick awarded in the league this year – 97th overall, and 33rd in the third round.
The fourth-round pick is 34th in the round and 134th overall, while the seventh-round pick is 36th overall and 254th overall – with only two picks afterward remaining in the draft.
The Cardinals now have seven draft picks: First round, second round, two in the third, fourth round, fifth round, seventh round. The Cardinals’ first pick is 15th overall.
The Cardinals had traded offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom to the Ravens for a conditional seventh-round pick last summer, but conditions were not met and the Ravens kept the pick.
The Cardinals had already traded away their original fourth-round pick (dealt in the Bears trade that allowed them to move up for Budda Baker in the second round last season), sixth-rounder (for running back Adrian Peterson) and seventh-rounder (in the 2016 trade with Chiefs for cornerback Marcus Cooper.)
Compensatory picks are determined by a formula that takes into account free agents gained and lost the previous offseason, those players’ contracts and their playing time. The extra picks are added at the end of each round starting in the third round, with 32 total comp choices awarded.
In the equation, the Cardinals lost Campbell and safety Tony Jefferson (whose play and contract generated the fourth-round pick) as well as Cooper, linebacker Kevin Minter, linebacker Alex Okafor and safety D.J. Swearinger.
Factored in as free-agent gains were linebacker Karlos Dansby, kicker Phil Dawson and Peterson – who, because he signed with the Saints as a free agent and kept his contract when he was traded to the Cardinals, counts as a free-agent gain.
The Bengals, Packers, Cowboys and Raiders each were awarded four comp picks. The Texans, like the Cardinals, received three. Compensatory picks can be traded.
The draft is April 26-28.
Images of Cardinals cheerleader Melody from throughout the season