Every year the NFL awards compensatory draft picks to teams that lose significant free agents. Teams can also earn compensatory picks now for losing specific staff members. It does not appear that any staff members will be leaving as Ian Cunningham only had an interview with the Raiders and the Raiders went in a different direction. This leaves free agency to determine if the Chicago Bears will earn any compensatory picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.
There is a unique formula that the NFL uses to determine which teams are awarded compensatory picks. The draft picks will fall anywhere within the third and seventh rounds depending on varying factors based on the change in value to the roster during the prior year free agency period. The NFL awards 32 draft picks (equal to the amount of teams in the NFL) not including special compensatory picks awarded to teams that lost minority head coaches or high-level executives to opposing teams. The compensatory picks are guaranteed third-round picks and given for the following two drafts.
Teams can also earn three consecutive third-round compensatory picks for hiring two minority high-level employees in the same hiring cycle. These also are separate from the 32 picks awarded for losing free agents. This is another thing that the Chicago Bears did not and will not be doing in 2024. Therefore, the only way Ryan Poles and the Bears will be awarded any compensatory draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft is if they had a negative net gain in free agency in 2023 that qualifies. Let's see if that looks to be the case.
Chicago Bears are not projected to earn any compensatory picks in 2024
Over the Cap (OTC) recently looked at the 2023 free agency period and came out with their expected compensatory picks for the 2024 NFL Draft. I went through the list. Unfortunately, I did not see the Chicago Bears listed anywhere.
OTC has 36 free agents that they believe will qualify for compensatory picks. However, as already mentioned, the NFL will only award 32, therefore the bottom four should drop off. They are projecting four third-round compensatory picks, one fourth-round compensatory pick, 12 fifth-round compensatory picks, eight sixth-round compensatory picks, and 11 seventh-round compensatory picks. Again, only seven of the seventh-rounders will be handed out.
It makes sense that the Chicago Bears didn't earn any comp picks seeing they had to add what seemed like 50% of their roster through free agency and the draft last year. The Bears did help out the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles by signing Tremaine Edmunds (earned a 3rd) and TJ Edwards (earned a 5th). Green Bay looks to technically have earned a seventh-round pick for losing Robert Tonyan, but his value is too low and one of the comp picks that doesn't fall into the top 32.
Will the Chicago Bears earn any comp picks in 2025? We shall see, but I'm doubtful.