At the NFL owners meetings on Friday, the league announced the 32 compensatory picks it awarded NFL teams. Typically, this is to offset losses via free agency. The Cardinals lost two free agents last offseason as Karlos Dansby signed with the Miami Dolphins and Neil Rackers to the Houston Texans. They signed two free agents, linebacker Paris Lenon and offensive lineman Rex Hadnot.
In the NFL Draft next month, the Cardinals will have an additional pick, in the seventh round. Previously, they had no pick in the seventh round, as that choice went to the Jets as part of the deal to acquire Kerry Rhodes. Arizona now has eight picks in the draft. They have one selection in rounds one through five, two in the sixth round (one obtained from the Eagle for Reggie Wells) and now one in the seventh and final round.
Technically, the pick was not compensatory, but the league always grants 32 picks, so the team benefited from that.
Carolina received three and seven teams were granted two picks. In the NFC West, the 49ers received two picks, making their total number of picks now 12 for the draft next month. This puts them in a position to move around and obtain specific players they are targeting.
For those who wonder about the other player signings (Derek Anderson, Joey Porter, Jay Feely, Alan Faneca) and losses (Antrel Rolle) the Cardinals had, they do not count towards compensation, as all these players were released and did not have their contracts expire.
What does this mean? It could mean that with an extra pick in the sixth round (the compensatory pick cannot be traded) that Arizona might use it to move up in the draft to select a targeted player as they have done in the past to draft John Skelton and Alan Branch.
The Cardinals have gotten some value out of their seventh round picks. Starting RT Brandon Keith was a seventh rounder, TE Jim Dray was as well and started for the team this past season and rotation and special teams player LaRod Stephens-Howling also was selected in the final round.