ORLANDO, FLA. • The Rams were awarded three compensatory draft picks Monday, or more than they’ve received in the previous four offseasons combined.
“At one time, I was expecting one (compensatory pick),” general manager Les Snead said Monday at the NFL owners meetings. “Then some expert guru who has a web site and who seems to predict these things said we may get four. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’ll settle for two.’ So getting three is a nice win.”
The Rams get a sixth-round pick (No. 214 overall) and two seventh-rounders (Nos. 249 and 250). That gives them 12 picks in the 2014 draft. In addition to the three compensatory picks, it breaks down as follows:
• Their original seven picks — one in each round.
• An extra first-round pick (No. 2 overall ) from the trade in 2012 that allowed Washington to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III.
• A seventh-rounder (No. 241 overall) as a result of the Josh Gordy trade to Indianapolis a couple of years ago.
“Hey, it’s a deep draft,” Snead said. “Now it’s up to us to make the most of the opportunity with 12 picks. You’ve got other picks in those later rounds — now you can be flexible in using them. Late-round picks, not the compensatory picks but the other ones, give you some maneuverability.”
Compensatory picks can’t be traded. But with three non-compensatory picks in rounds six and seven, the Rams could package them in a possible trade-ups. That occurred last season when the Rams traded two sixth-round picks to move into the fifth round for running back Zac Stacy.
Besides, you never know when a late-round compensatory pick will turn into draft-day gold. Such was the case with a sixth-round compensatory selection in the 2000 draft by New England: quarterback Tom Brady.
“That is making the most of the opportunity,” Snead said.
The formula for determining compensatory picks is based on the number of free agents signed compared to the number of free agents lost during the previous year’s offseason.
It takes into account salary and playing time with the player’s new club. The Rams lost Danny Amendola, Craig Dahl, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Gibson and Robert Turner in free agency last year. They signed Jared Cook and Jake Long.
The Rams have added cornerback/return man Greg Reid and linebacker Etienne Sabino to their offeason roster. Reid, from Florida State, was draft eligible in 2013 but suffered a knee injury (torn ACL) at his pro day so he was out of football.
Sabino was signed by the New York Giants in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State but was released near the end of the preseason.
Safety/nickel back Rodney McLeod topped all Rams in performance-based pay for 2013, earning $280,915 in extra pay. The performance-based pay program rewards players with lower-level contracts who “out-perform” their contracts based on playing time. Each NFL team received $3.46 million in performance-based pay this season.
Eight other Rams received more than $100,000 in performance-based pay for 2013: OT Joe Barksdale ($187,114), CB Trumaine Johnson ($154,266), WR Chris Givens ($151,349), RB Zac Stacy ($149,277), S T.J. McDonald ($147,264), TE/FB Cory Harkey ($142,751), CB Janoris Jenkins ($118,528), and QB Kellen Clemens ($111,178).