Afterwards, several readers asked about safety Jairus Byrd, who signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints in March. Shouldn't the Bills get a high (third- or fourth-round) compensatory pick for Byrd in 2015?
It's unlikely. The NFL awards compensatory picks on the basis of net losses in free agency. In other words, a team has to lose more unrestricted free agents than it gains in order to receive a compensatory selection.
Here's how the Bills' free-agent balance sheet shakes out:
That leaves the Bills with a net gain of free agents. Although the NFL doesn't disclose their formula for compensatory selections, having a net gain of free agents should eliminate the Bills from any possibility of receiving a compensatory pick.
The one exception would be if the Bills receive a "net value" compensatory pick, which are awarded only after teams with net losses are given picks (the NFL caps the limit of compensatory picks at 32).
This offseason, the Bills were in the running to receive a "net value" pick because of the big-money contract Andy Levitre signed last offseason, but ultimately the Bills did not receive any compensatory picks. Their fate could be similar next spring.