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Monday, March 24, 2014
Bengals awarded two compensatory picks

By Coley Harvey

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals were awarded two compensatory picks for the upcoming NFL draft, the league announced from its owners meetings Monday.

Those particular selections will come in the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft that will be held in New York May 8-10. In addition to their predetermined seven picks, the Bengals will now have two selections each in the sixth and seventh rounds, pushing their draft total to nine. The last time the Bengals had nine picks in one draft was 2010, when they selected tight end Jermaine Gresham in the first round.

Last year, the Bengals had 10 selections either through trades or the compensatory pick process.

Teams are awarded compensatory draft choices based upon what happens in the previous free-agency period. Teams that lose more or better free agents than they acquire in the previous year are eligible to receive compensatory draft picks, as long as those free agents are among the top 32 compensatory free agents in the league that year. Since the Bengals lost one player (Brian Leonard) in 2013 who fell outside that top 32-player range, they were not awarded a compensatory pick for him.

The players who were covered based on the league's stipulations of compensatory free agents were Josh Brown, Bruce Gradkowski, Manny Lawson, Pat Sims and Dan Stuka. Since those five players were only replaced by three free agents in Josh Johnson, Mike Pollak and Alex Smith, the Bengals were only allowed two compensatory picks.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The NFL Management Council came up with the formula, and it's one that does not cover every free agent lost or signed by a club. The compensatory picks themselves can only be made in rounds three through seven.

Offensive linemen Reid Fragel and T.J. Johnson were Cincinnati's two compensatory pick selections last year. Fragel was eventually released, and Johnson still is on roster as a backup center. This year's compensatory picks will be the 212th and 252nd overall draft choices.