Third Round Compensation picks, Dunta Robinson, and you

I think the general feeling around here is that we're going to get a third round pick in the 2011 NFL draft as compensation for Dunta Robinson leaving. In a perfect world, that's what would happen (and the Titans would go 0-16 every year). However, due to some quirks of the compensatory formula, it appears to me that not only will we not get a third round pick, we may not get any compensatory pick at all.

First of all, let me link you to AdamJT13's blog. He has reverse engineered the formula and therefore has figured out most of the rules of the system. According to his research, if the Texans had not signed any free agents that qualified for the formula, we would receive a third round pick for Dunta. You see, any free agent the Texans sign that meet the salary and playing time qualifications count against them when it comes to compensatory selections. But without any other moves, we get a third rounder for Dunta.

Here is a summary of how it all works from Adam:

Each qualifying player has a value based on his contract, playing time and postseason honors, and that value corresponds to a round in the draft. In the compensatory equation, each qualifying player that a team signs cancels out a qualifying player that the team lost whose value is the highest in the same round. If there are no lost players remaining in that round, the signed player cancels out the lost player whose value is the next-highest. A signed player will cancel out a lost player whose value falls in a higher round only if there are no remaining lost players. After all of a team's qualifying signed players have canceled out a lost player, the team can receive a comp pick for each qualifying player who remains. For example, consider a team that loses one qualifying player whose value falls in the third round and another qualifying player whose value falls in the sixth round but signs a qualifying player whose value falls in the third round. That team would receive a sixth-round comp pick because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the higher-valued player. If the signed player’s value were equal to a fourth-round pick or lower, however, the team would receive a third-round comp pick, because the signed player would cancel out the loss of the lower-valued player.

So the signings of Wade Smith and Neil Rackers will work against us. Not only that, but its highly unlikely any of our other free agents will qualify. (Rex Grossman didn't get a contract that is anywhere close to large enough. Ryan Moats doesn't count because he was cut. Chester Pitts could theoretically count if he gets signed, and I'll expand on that later.) Basically, Wade Smith and/or Neil Rackers (who are sixth round compensatory picks at best based on their contracts) are going to cancel out Dunta's gigantic contract.

There is a small chance this doesn't happen. First of all, the players have to still be on the roster of the team after week 10 to count in the formula. So, say Neil Rackers loses the battle with Kris Brown for the kicking job and gets cut after camp. Wade Smith would still cancel out Dunta, but we would get a net value 7th round comp pick. But if Rackers gets cut and Chester Pitts signs with a team and he qualifies in the formula, then we could get the 3rd rounder. Not only that, he has to sign by July 27th to count in the formula at all, and considering he hasn't signed yet it seems unlikely he will suddenly sign in the next week (although he did work out for teams today, so at least he is healthy).

Barring a pretty unlikely turn of events, it looks like the Texans won't be getting that third rounder next year. It seems Dunta somehow threw another "FUCK YOU" at us on his way out the door.