When LA Chargers quarterback signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts, he may well have been sending something back to the Chargers that they haven’t had in a very long time: a valuable compensatory pick. Over at Reddit on Sunday, a user posted a chart showing every compensatory pick awarded since 2010 and only the Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Jacksonville Jaguars had not received at least one pick in the third or fourth round range.
(Chart via Reddit user /u/TroublesomeKangaroo)
As you can see, the Baltimore Ravens have received the most comp picks total, at 23, with four third round comps. The New England Patriots were second overall and first in third rounders with six such picks. The Ravens had the most fourth round picks, with eight.
San Diego/LA has only received six total compensatory picks in that time and as you probably know, Tom Telesco also hates to make trades. So the Chargers have typically gone into the draft with seven picks and left the draft with seven players. That may not be the case in 2021 though (assuming there’s a normal draft), as Rivers should be getting back a third rounder, so long as no corresponding contracts are signed by LA, I believe.
Per OvertheCap, the Chargers should receive a third for Rivers, while any comps for Melvin Gordon, Adrian Phillips, or Derek Watt leaving in free agency were offset by deals for Bryan Bulaga, Chris Harris, and Nick Vigil.
For what it’s worth, signing Cam Newton would not impact the comp formula because he was released by the Carolina Panthers. Signing Jameis Winston would factor in, however.
It is probable that LA would be in line for more picks in 2022 also, as they have a long list of key free agents in 2021, including Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Hunter Henry, Mike Pouncey, Desmond King, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, and Tyrod Taylor.