How the Jets acquired three draft picks by cutting a backup D-lineman

You may come across some stories Wednesday about compensatory draft picks, and the reason is because it's the first day unrestricted free agents no longer count against the formula for compensatory picks to be awarded in 2018.

That chapter is closed and, based on projections by OverTheCap.com, the New York Jets won't have any comp picks in '18. No surprise there.

But here's an interesting nugget: One of the website's contract gurus, Nick Korte, reports how the Jets used the compensatory system to their advantage last year and parlayed one move into three draft picks -- wide receiver Chad Hansen (fourth round), cornerback Jeremy Clark (sixth) and cornerback Derrick Jones (sixth).

It goes back to a decision general manager Mike Maccagnan made last fall, when he released defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins before the Week 10 deadline for the compensatory formula. Until then, the Jets weren't expected to receive a comp pick for nose tackle Damon Harrison, who signed a huge deal with the New York Giants. That's because the Jets spent a good amount of money on free agents Jenkins ($3 million in 2016) and nose tackle Steve McLendon, essentially cancelling out the Harrison loss.

Each year, the league awards 32 compensatory picks based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. If you lose a big-money free agent, there's a good chance you'll get a comp pick unless you replace him with a similar player.

By cutting Jenkins when he did -- he wasn't contributing much at all -- Maccagnan secured a third-round comp pick for Harrison (107 overall). He traded down twice, with the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, turning one pick into three.

The Jets have high hopes for Hansen, who could push for playing time as a rookie. Clark is coming off an ACL tear and Jones is a former wide receiver with limited experience at cornerback, so who knows?

Signing Jenkins was a costly mistake, but at least Maccagnan managed to get something out of it.