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Bolts to receive a third-round compensatory pick in 2021

After all the free agent dust settles, the Chargers are set to earn an extra pick in the 2021 draft.

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

When the entire list of teams that earned themselves a compensatory pick for the 2020 NFL Draft came out in early March, a number of Chargers fans were wondering why the team was not awarded an extra pick. After all, they all just watched as former Bolts wideout Tyrell Williams sign a big-money deal with the Oakland Raiders. But the answer to that question was the situation surrounding defensive tackle Darius Philon, who the Chargers let walk and sign with Arizona. When Philon was let go following a run-in with law enforcement, the Bolts lost out on that potential comp pick in 2020.

But fear not! The Chargers are set to earn themselves a third-round compensatory pick for next year’s draft after the deadline past for team signing to count for/against the formula. According to, the contracts of Bryan Bulaga, Chris Harris, and Nick Vigil cancel out the contracts that Derek Watt, Adrian Phillips, and Melvin Gordon signed elsewhere.

For those that are still unaware of how the whole process works, here’s a little run-down:

  • The league gives out 32 compensatory picks from the third through seventh rounds of the draft each year based on a selected pool of free agents lost.
  • The largest 32 contracts signed by free agents based on average per-year value will net a team compensation.
  • The formula also takes into account playing time, salary, and postseason accolades for those players lost or gained.

In the end, the team’s that look to have lost the best/most-valuable players from a year ago will be compensated the most in that year’s formula. So barring some insanely uncharacteristic injury or event, the Bolts will be set to start with eight picks in next year’s draft.