ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL has awarded a league-high four compensatory draft choices to the New England Patriots.
The picks were revealed Monday night at the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes.
Compensatory picks are awarded to clubs based on a secret formula more guarded than Colonel Sanders' recipe. We know the formula involves the number of free agents gained and lost the previous offseason and how well those players performed the ensuing season. We think the formula factors in the players' salaries, playing time and awards.
New England lost five qualifying free agents (running back LaMont Jordan, fullback Heath Evans, receiver Jabar Gaffney, linebacker Larry Izzo and long-snapper Lonie Paxton) and signed only one (safety Brandon McGowan).
The NFL compensated the Patriots with one sixth-round pick and three seventh-round picks. The selections are Nos. 205, 247, 248 and 250.
The Dolphins were given a seventh-round pick, No. 252.