The Dolphins’ 2016 free agent strategy has paid off.
Instead of matching lucrative offers for Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller and Rishard Matthews, Mike Tannenbaum allowed them to walk. Tannebaum’s gamble: that the league would award them a treasure trove of compensatory picks in 2017.
Well, it’s 2017, and the NFL didn’t disappoint.
The Dolphins were granted three comp picks for this April’s draft — one in the third round, and two in the fifth.
But there’s more good news. The third-rounder was the best comp pick the league gives out: 97th overall. That was presumably for Vernon, who had an excellent first season for the Giants after signing a five-year, $85 million deal with New York. The Dolphins got one of the 11 third-round comp picks handed out by the NFL this year.
The Dolphins also gained the 180th and 186th overall picks, which were likely for losing Miller to the Texans and Matthews to the Titans.
The league does not announce the exact formula for how they award comp picks, but it;s based on free agents lost vs. free agents gained in one offseason.
And those picks are even more valuable this year, as they can be used in a trade. The league had previously forced teams to hang onto their compensatory picks.
The haul again gives the Dolphins seven picks in this year’s draft. They sent their 2017 third and fourth-rounders to the Vikings to draft Leonte Carroo last year, and will lose their seventh-rounder to the Jaguars once the trade for Julius Thomas becomes official.